Acoustic mirrors as sensory traps for bats

Greif, Stefan; Zsebők, Sándor; Schmieder, Daniela Anna; Siemers, Björn M. (2017). Acoustic mirrors as sensory traps for bats. Science, 357(6355), pp. 1045-1047. American Association for the Advancement of Science 10.1126/science.aam7817

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Sensory traps pose a considerable and often fatal risk for animals, leading them to misinterpret their environment. Bats predominantly rely on their echolocation system to forage, orientate, and navigate.We found that bats can mistake smooth, vertical surfaces as clear flight paths, repeatedly colliding with them, likely as a result of their acoustic mirror properties. The probability of collision is influenced by the number of echolocation calls and by the amount of time spent in front of the surface. The echolocation call analysis corroborates that bats perceive smooth, vertical surfaces as open flyways. Reporting on occurrences with different species in the wild, we argue that it is necessary to more closely monitor potentially dangerous locations with acoustic mirror properties (such as glass fronts) to assess the true frequency of fatalities around these sensory traps.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Conservation Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Schmieder, Daniela Anna

Subjects:

500 Science
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

0036-8075

Publisher:

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Olivier Roth

Date Deposited:

18 Apr 2018 08:10

Last Modified:

28 Oct 2019 05:35

Publisher DOI:

10.1126/science.aam7817

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.110644

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/110644

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