UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Prime real estate : how urban landscape variables influence bat presence in Vancouver, Canada Craig, Julia


Understanding how wildlife use urban landscapes is increasingly important as cities grow and impact the world’s biodiversity. Bats are a critical part of urban ecosystems, but little is known about which bat species live in cities, how urban variables affect their presence, and at which spatial scales. To answer these questions, we acoustically sampled Vancouver and Richmond, Canada, in 2021 via mobile bicycle transects. We found a diversity of bats (10 species) in the city, including rare and endangered species, which responded to the urban landscape at all tested spatial scales. Using Bayesian models, we found that bats were overall attracted to greenness, parks, and tall vegetation. But they were negatively affected by light pollution, intensive urban land use, and increasing distance from freshwater, which we suggest might be abiotic filters on bat presence. While all bats responded similarly to the aforementioned variables, we found nuances between low- and high-frequency functional groups that suggested spatial partitioning to avoid competition. To boost bat abundance, cities might improve or create parks and freshwater sources to increase roosting and foraging opportunities, and introduce traffic and light-pollution mitigation strategies to reduce sources of mortality and disturbance.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International