This book brings together scientific evidence and experience relevant to the practical conservation of bats. The authors worked with an international group of bat experts and conservationists to develop a global list of interventions that could benefit bats.
For each intervention, the book summarises studies captured by the Conservation Evidence project, where that intervention has been tested and its effects on bats quantified. The result is a thorough guide to what is known, or not known, about the effectiveness of bat conservation actions throughout the world.
Bat Conservation is the fifth in a series of Synopses that will cover different species groups and habitats, gradually building into a comprehensive summary of evidence on the effects of conservation interventions for all biodiversity throughout the world.
By making evidence accessible in this way, we hope to enable a change in the practice of conservation, so it can become more evidence-based. We also aim to highlight where there are gaps in knowledge.
Evidence from all around the world is included. If there appears to be a bias towards evidence from northern European or North American temperate environments, this reflects a current bias in the published research that is available to us. Conservation interventions are grouped primarily according to the relevant direct threats, as defined in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Unified Classification of Direct Threats (www.iucnredlist.org/technical-documents/classification-schemes).
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Anna Berthinussen is a post-doctorate researcher at the University of Leeds, currently working on a Defra-funded study of the interactions between bats and roads. She holds degrees in bat ecology and conservation (PhD) and Zoology (BSc), both from the University of Leeds. She has published several scientific papers and contributed to book chapters on bats, and has a keen interest in wildlife conservation.
Olivia Richardson is a conservation ecologist who has recently been working as a Research Assistant and an ecological consultant. She holds degrees in Biodiversity and Conservation (MSc) and Biology (BSc with Honours), both from the University of Leeds. She is a former British Ecological Society Education, Training and Careers committee member and Undergraduate Fellow alumni. Her research interests include bat conservation, urban ecology, citizen science and applied ecology and its translation into policy and practice.
John Altringham is Professor of Animal Ecology & Conservation at the University of Leeds. He works primarily on the ecology and conservation of bats, but has broad interests in conservation. In the past he has studied animals as diverse as tunas and tarantulas. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and reports, and three books on bats, the most recent being Bats, from evolution to conservation, published by OUP in 2011. He is a scientific advisor to the National Trust and other conservation organisations.Review:
This book presents what conservation evidence exists about bats, their threats and conservation measures. Interventions are listed as one of 12 specific topics. For example, there are six different interventions for ‘human disturbance – caving and tourism' ((e.g. maintain micro-climate, use of cave gates, etc.). Each intervention is assessed to gauge if evidence exists to substantiate effects.
It provides a stark insight into the lack of scientific research (or survey work that remains unpublished) about how humans affect bats. This publication also serves as a useful ‘wake-up call' to bat surveyors and researchers, identifying which interventions are lacking scientific evidence. This is very helpful in directing future bat research. Quite often though, ecological judgements have to be made without adequate scientific evidence. In practice, these will be made with whatever knowledge is available, whether this is from academia or informed by non-academic findings or surveys.
Due to the books strong scientific research content, I found this book quite ‘dry', but it certainly delivers what it aims to achieve. The small font gives a ‘text heavy' appearance (for an A5 sized book). Relevant illustrations or photos could have helped to break-up text on specific topics where there are good examples for the evidence of effects. As a result, this book would appear more suitable for university students. However, I would buy this book as a very useful base-line reference source for bat conservation.
Pelagic Publishing is congratulated in taking forward publications to the benefit of the bat community.(David Patterson Scottish BATS)
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