What is it about?

Global warming is a serious threat to the survival of many species of animals. Among these, bats are especially sensitive to climate change. Their environment heavily influences the migration and reproduction of these mammals. Thus, one would expect that climate change would affect the population of bats around the world. But does it lead to an increase, or a decrease in their numbers? In a recent study, researchers have tried to answer this question. They studied the populations of bats in Ireland, using survey data from 2003 to 2016. Based on these data, they created a model that could predict the future populations of bats. They used it to predict changes in the populations of three species of bats in Ireland between 2046 and 2059. When correlated with weather conditions and predictions, interesting results emerged. Rising temperatures were found to be linked with a decline in bat populations.

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Why is it important?

Bats are an integral part of their ecosystem. They are top predators who keep insect populations under control. They are also valuable as pollinators. Therefore, a reduction in bat populations can have a widespread negative impact on the environment. Now, temperatures in Ireland are expected to rise by 1.5°C by 2050. This would cause a decline in the populations of bats on the island. The model discussed in this study can help predict this decline. It can thus be used for focused conservation efforts. KEY TAKEAWAY: With rising temperatures, the populations of bats in Ireland are predicted to fall. This would negatively impact the environment. However, researchers have built a model that can predict the change in the population of bats. Inferences from this model could help in the conservation of bats.

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This page is a summary of: Elucidating the Consequences of a Warming Climate for Common Bat Species in North-Western Europe, Acta Chiropterologica, March 2020, Museum and Institute of Zoology at the Polish Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.3161/15081109acc2019.21.2.011.
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