The Conservation of the Anatolian Sweetgum Forests with The Help of Forest Bats / Turkey

Supported by: Idea Wild

  TURKEY, Muğla Province, Köyceğiz-Dalyan Special Protected Area

  1 March 2019 – 1 March 2020

Summary:

Main Goal: To support the conservation efforts of the Anatolian Sweetgum Forests by researching the Forest Bats

Aim 1: To research the Forest Bats of Anatolian Sweetgum Forests (situation of the species, threat status, activity patterns, usages of the forest)

Aim 2: To research the ecological parameters of the Forest Bats (a- population density, richness, frequency, similarity, dominancy, competition etc. b- comparisons between the fragmented-unfragmented, natural-semi natural-plantation forests)

Aim 3: To integrate the project results into the Sweetgum Forests Action Plan

Aim 4: To raise the public awareness against the saving the Anatolian Sweetgum Forests by using the Bat Forests

Methods: We have started to pre-field trips by using with direct and in-direct methods in July and September 2017 to understand and design the working methodology. The pre-results show us that 10 bat species use the sweetgum forests. The important species are Pipistrellus nathusii, Pipistrellus pygmeus, Nyctalus noctule, Hypsugo savii, Myotis nattereri, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum which use the sweetgum forests for now. The current activity pattern tells us that due to the ecological properties of the sweetgum forests (such as dense humidity, flooded ground water level, high temperature rises the insect community which is the crucial food resource of the bats), the bats population can be seen longer and in a healthy way. Moreover, due to the tree characteristics (bark’s shape, body structure etc.), the bats species can be accommodated inside the forest.

We will select 2 unfragmented forests, 2 fragmented forests and 2 plantation forests as the study sites. We will spend 5 days for direct researches in each four seasons. During the field trips we will look at the environs (citrus orchards, agricultural lands, settlements, ruins, lakeside, maquis, forests, caves etc.) of the project area to match the results. 

We are requesting from the Idea Wild; one Anabat Swift Passive Bat Detector (Full-Spectrum Ultrasonic Recorder) and one Anabat Walkabout Active Bat Detector. Anabat Swift Full-Spectrum Ultrasonic Recorder will be set up in each study stations for 10 days. Those 10 days observation will be done again in the same station every 50 days. It means that each station will be observed every season regularly. Indirect research will be done by Anabat Swift Full-Spectrum Ultrasonic Recorder automatically and Anabat Walkabout Active Bat Detector manually. Anabat Walkabout Active Bat Detector will be used during our seasonally 5 days field trips (that includes the direct research technic such as sweep nets, mist nets, controlling the roosting places etc.) which will be done to test the data accuracy of the indirect research. Free Analook Insight Analysis Software will be used to analyse the voice records.

The current situation of the species, threat status, activity patterns, ecological parameters and usages of the forest will be determined at the end of this study. The project results will be analyzed how and on which parts of the forests might be conserved.

This project has been coordinated under the supervisor of Ph.D Tarkan Yorulmaz from Cankırı Karatekin University. Project results will be used in the Sweetgum Forests Action Plan (2019-2024). We will integrate the project data into the forestry management plans of the project area. Within the fragmented parts, the most important bat corridors which the attempts will be made to purchase will be detected. On the other hand, the project data related with the bat species will be integrated to the national red lists of Turkey.