Data from: Male and female bats differ in their use of a large urban park
Patriquin, Krista J; Guy, Cylita; Hinds, Joshua; Ratcliffe, John M (2019), Data from: Male and female bats differ in their use of a large urban park, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4nn6dv0
Understanding how wildlife responds to ever-encroaching urbanization is of great concern. Bats are the second-most speciose mammalian order and while many appear to be urban adapted, we currently have a limited understanding of their demography and habitat use within urban environments. Using a combination of captures to obtain demographic data, radio-telemetry to examine foraging and roosting behaviour, and data on diet and prey availability, we examined how big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), a synurbic species, use an urban green space (High Park) in Canada?s largest city centre, Toronto. We found that adult males outnumbered adult females more than two to one and that males were found throughout the park, while females were concentrated in an area with greater access to water, but lower prey availability. We also found that bats of both sexes were in poorer body condition than reported for other non-urban areas, including a site within southern Ontario. Our data suggest that High Park may not provide adequate resources for reproductive females as they were never found roosting in the park and beetles, their preferred prey, were limited. Although previous studies suggest urban green spaces may offer refuge to bats, most have not considered sex-specific responses to urbanization as they have largely been based on acoustic surveys. Our study therefore highlights the importance of considering demographic differences in response to urbanization to better inform urban management plans and green spaces.