Past research has shown that certain bat species respond differently to degraded water quality or urbanization on local scales. However, the effects of water quality degradation and urbanization had not been separated explicitly until the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) used NABat data to tackle the question.
UNCG researchers Han Li and Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell wanted to discern whether differences in bat activity in North Carolina related to water quality degradation, urbanization, or both. To accomplish this, they needed to examine bat responses to each of these factors not just locally, but across landscape scales that encompassed enough variability to draw accurate conclusions. By utilizing the NABat survey methodology, Matina and Han were able to gather state-wide bat activity data in addition to the environmental data they required to address their far-reaching questions. Because NABat data are both spatially balanced and randomized, they provided a strong foundation from which to ask more complex questions about how bats interact with the increasingly urbanizing environment. Click here to see full publication.