Due to landscape modifications and chemical use, golf courses have earned a negative reputation among some environmental groups, but their park-like landscapes may offer habitat for some wildlife species, especially over other land use types. In this study, I monitored bat activity using ultrasonic acoustic detectors in different small-scale habitats found on golf courses on the Delmarva Peninsula. My objective was to evaluate if and how bats are using course landscapes. I found differences in overall activity levels at the habitat level but not on different golf courses. Areas with closed canopy and open understory that were managed had significantly higher activity than other four habitats that reflected more natural habitats (open grass, dense canopy forest fragment, and open canopy forest fragment). The open understory managed areas also had significantly higher foraging activity than the other four habitats. Six of the eight bat species thought to occur on the Delmarva Peninsula were recorded, but Eptesicus fuscus and Lasiurus borealis dominated bat activity across all golf courses and habitats and had highest activity in open understory managed habitat. These findings indicate that bats are using golf courses on the Peninsula regularly as flyways and foraging grounds, and even substantially disturbed areas are used extensively. This study adds to the growing body of literature that positive partnerships can be created between wildlife and golf courses.
|Commitee:||Barczewski, Richard, Braun de Torrez, Elizabeth C., Heckscher, Christopher M.|
|School:||Delaware State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Delaware|
|Source:||MAI 58/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Acoustic survey, Bat conservation, Golf course|
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