Beavers construct ideal habitats for bats

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“Forest that was both flooded and subjected to beaver logging supported the highest bat activity”- via BBC – Earth News – European beavers construct ideal habitats for bats.

A swimming beaver by naturalist William Hudson

A swimming beaver by naturalist William Hudson

In a paper published in the European Journal of Wildlife Research, it is shown that reintroduction of beaver is associated with significantly higher amounts of bat activity. Pretty interesting fact. It makes sense.

What is most interesting about this to me is the concept that if you modify one part of a system, other parts are also impacted. Sometimes this is intentional, like in the case of thinning cuts designed to increase timber production. other times this can be an unintentional side effect, like using DDT then finding out that it harms the reproduction of Eagles.

The cascading effects of our activities are far-reaching and difficult to predict with any degree of certainty. When beaver were over-harvested and eliminated from our area, did that also create a dip in the bat population over time? Does a decrease in bat activity change the population of flying insects? Probably.

What do the now more numerous bugs eat? What impacts flow from that? How do we know?

Think about your everyday activities and what they may impact. Go outside and observe Nature. Think about why a plant or animal is in the place where you observe it. There is usually a reason. Things are not random in Nature. There is an underling logic to the apparent chaos. It is just so complicated it is hard to ferret out the exact connections.

Just because it is hard to see the connections does not mean they don’t exist. Think about it, observe Nature, and think about it some more.


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