Is Exposure To Metals Causing Bat Population Decline

11 June 2016
The bat population is declining and scientists have found that it could be partly due to constant exposure to metals.

In recent years, the number of bats has seen a rapid decline. Several factors have been found to contribute to it, including deforestation, loss of food and water source, climate change and intensified agriculture. Just recently, thousands of bats invaded an Australian town to hunt for food.

Researchers from the University of York, however, have found that a large population of bats has high levels of metals that are now causing toxicity.

Majority of bat habitats in the UK, particularly those previous mining sites, have had high metal concentration since the Industrial Revolution. Bats get the metals into their system via ingestion of the flora and fauna that has accumulated the metals coming from the soil.

About 190 dead pipistrelle bats found across Wales and England were studied, their organs and tissues analyzed for presence of metals. Researchers have found that the levels of metals are comparable to what is considered toxic for mammals.

As much as 21 percent of the bats have at least one metal residue high enough to cause toxicity. Lead, in particular, was found in as much as 11 percent of the dead bats. Researchers also found cadmium, copper and zinc in high concentrations.

"The percentage of bats in which concentration of metals exceed toxic thresholds suggest that a significant proportion of the bat population in England and Wales may be affected by metal exposure," said Professor Alistair Boxall, who mentored the researchers.

Boxall went on to say that many of the bats are in constant exposure to a variety of stressors in the environment. Further research focused on understanding the interactions among stressors could significantly help in conserving the bat population. He believes that studying sediments and water would help them determine how these sources of metal pollution affect accumulation. Boxall added that it is also important to study how these metals affect the bats' immune system.

The results of the study are published in Environmental Pollution.

Bats For Ecosystem

Why is there a need to preserve the bat population? Simple. Bats are important.

Bats, all 1,300 species of them, play major ecological roles that are important in maintaining the health of the natural ecosystem and human economics.

Their consumption of insects, particularly the disruptive agricultural pests, brings balance to the ecosystem. They are also very good pollinators. As a matter of fact, even their droppings are good fertilizers.

Without the bats, the ecosystem will collapse. For this reason, bats are often referred to as "keystone species."

Photo: Gilles San Martin | Flickr

Bats, Bat Population, population decline


BatsRule!/\^._.^/\Help Save WildLife

Articles,67,Audio,15,Backyard,10,Barbed Wire,21,Bat Art,34,Bat Books,70,Bat Box,26,Bat Clothing,14,Bat Issues,500,Bats for Children,26,Bats for the Home,61,Electrocution,7,Events,33,info on bats,455,Jackie Sparrow,22,Microbats,410,Misc,64,Netting,32,Newsletter,4,Promoting,124,Rehab,60,Rehab 2011,1,Rehab 2012,19,Rehab 2013,10,Rehab 2014,6,Rehab 2015,103,Rehab 2016,99,Rehab 2017,10,Release Cage,2,RESCUE,60,Rescue 2012,3,RESCUE 2013,11,RESCUE 2014,8,RESCUE 2015,24,Rescue 2016,12,RESCUE 2017,1,Rob Mies,11,Shooting,2,Vegetation,23,Video,421,Virus,110,WebSites-Bat,46,
Megabats and Microbats: Is Exposure To Metals Causing Bat Population Decline
Is Exposure To Metals Causing Bat Population Decline
Is Exposure To Metals Causing Bat Population Decline
Megabats and Microbats
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy