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Data from: Are migratory behaviours of bats socially transmitted?

Cite this dataset

Baerwald, Erin F.; Barclay, Robert M. R. (2016). Data from: Are migratory behaviours of bats socially transmitted? [Dataset]. Dryad.


To migrate, animals rely on endogenous, genetically inherited programmes, or socially transmitted information about routes and behaviours, or a combination of the two. In long-lived animals with extended parental care, as in bats, migration tends to be socially transmitted rather than endogenous. For a young bat to learn migration via social transmission, they would need to follow an experienced individual, most likely one roosting nearby. Therefore, we predicted that bats travelling together originate from the same place. It is also likely that young bats would follow their mothers or other kin, so we predicted that bats travelling together are more closely related to each other than bats not travelling together. To test our predictions, we used microsatellite genotypes and stable isotope values of δ13C, δ15N and δ2H to analyse the relatedness and geographical origins of migrating hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus/Aeorestes cinereus (Baird et al. 2015 J. Mammal. 96, 1255–1274 (doi:10.1093/jmammal/gyv135)); n = 133) and silver-haired bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans; n = 87) killed at wind turbines over two consecutive autumn migrations. Contrary to our predictions, there was no evidence that related dyads of hoary bats or silver-haired bats were killed on the same night more frequently than expected by chance, or that the number of days between the fatalities of dyad members was influenced by relatedness or latitude of origin. Our data suggest that these bats do not socially transmit migration routes and behaviours among close kin.

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