Urbanization is a phenomenon that results in fragmentation and eventual destruction of forests. Suburbanization is a subset of that same phenomenon in which fragmentation has resulted in the retention of small patches of the original forest and surviving old growth trees. Alternatively, the area surrounding the central city had been cleared for agricultural use and the suburban residents have planted many trees in parks and private property. This fragmentation will of course affect many species of bats, including species of the family Phyllostomidae. In this work, we estimate and compare the diversity of phyllostomid bats in three landscapes in Honduras: forests, suburban, and urban areas, from 2015 to 2018. Concurrently, we compared bat activity patterns based on the hour and percentage of moonlight at the time they were captured, and we compared external measurements, forearm and ear length. Urban areas are the least diverse and exhibited the lowest abundance. The forearm and ear length were significantly different only between forests and urban areas. The degree of lunar phobia also differed among those landscapes, but the time of capture did not differ. This is the first attempt to describe the activity patterns of phyllostomids in these studied areas and the effect of urbanization on Honduran bats. As expected, we found that from forests to cities, the diversity and abundance of phyllostomids decreased. However, there are many gaps in our knowledge of how totally or partially urbanized areas are affecting phyllostomid bats in Honduras.
Part of the book: Natural History and Ecology of Mexico and Central America