Data from: Demographic variation in the U.K. serotine bat: filling gaps in knowledge for management
Chauvenet, Alienor L. M.; Hutson, Anthony M.; Smith, Graham C.; Aegerter, James N. (2014), Data from: Demographic variation in the U.K. serotine bat: filling gaps in knowledge for management, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6kp2j
Species of conservation concern, or those in conflict with man, are most efficiently managed with an understanding of their population dynamics. European bats exemplify the need for successful and cost-effective management for both reasons, often simultaneously. Across Europe, bats are protected, and the concept of Favourable Conservation Status (FCS) is used as a key tool for the assessment and licensing of disruptive actions to populations. However, for efficient decision-making, this assessment requires knowledge on the demographic rates and long-term dynamics of populations. We used capture–mark–recapture to describe demographic rates for the Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) at two sites in England and investigate the transition rates between three stages: juveniles, immatures, and breeders. We then use these rates in an individual-based population dynamics model to investigate the expected trajectories for both populations. Our results demonstrate for the first time the presence and scale of temporal variation in this species' demography. We describe the lengthy prereproductive period (3.5 years) that female Serotines experience. Finally, we show how site-specific variation in demographic rates can produce divergent population trajectories. Effective management of European bat populations can be achieved through the understanding of life histories, and local demographic rates and population dynamics, in order to anticipate the presence of source and sink sites in the landscape. Using the Serotine bat in England, we show that these can be obtained from rigorous and systematic studies of long-term demographic datasets.