Bats and water: Anthropogenic alterations threaten global bat populations

Carmi Korine, Rick Adams, Danilo Russo, Marina Fisher-Phelps, David Jacobs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Natural bodies of open water in desert landscapes, such as springs and ephemeral pools, and the plant-life they support, are important resources for the survival of animals in hyper arid, arid and semi-arid (dryland) environments. Human-made artificial water sources, i.e. waste-water treatment ponds, catchments and reservoirs, have become equally important for wildlife in those areas. Bodies of open water are used by bats either for drinking and/or as sites over which to forage for aquatic emergent insects. Due to the scarcity of available water for replenishing water losses during roosting and flight, open bodies of water of many shapes and sizes may well be a key resource influencing the survival, activity, resource use and the distribution of insectivorous bats. In this chapter, we review the current knowledge of bats living in semi- and arid regions around the world and discuss the factors that influence their richness, behaviour and activity around bodies of water. We further present how increased anthropogenic changes in hydrology and water availability may influence the distribution of species of bats in desert environments and offer directions for future research on basic and applied aspects on bats and the water they use in these environments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBats in the Anthropocene
Subtitle of host publicationConservation of Bats in a Changing World
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783319252209
ISBN (Print)9783319252186
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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