Individual-Based Ecological Model of Urban Resource Patch Use by Mexican Free-Tailed Bats in Austin, Texas




Taylor, Emariana

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The dynamic nature of urban environments presents wildlife species with a range of novel conditions including changes in land use and species assemblages. Understanding the nature of species response to environmental changes is an important aspect for preserving biodiversity and creating sustainable cities. Individual-based models (IBM) are a type of complex ecological model, which can be used by ecologists and wildlife managers to predict species response to environmental change. Here, I present a multi-agent ecological model of Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) population growth and redistribution in response to the emergence of new habitat patches resulting from land use changes within the urban built environment of Austin, TX. The purpose of the model is to identify Mexican free-tailed bat urban habitat associations and to reveal patterns of bat population distribution across the urban landscape. Model validity is assessed through map correlation analysis of real ( determined by acoustic monitoring/visual inspection field study) and predicted (data file output from model run) bat habitat use. Results indicate an increase in bat populations concurrent with urbanization; however the pattern of bat habitat use is limited by the spatial arrangement of features at the landscape scale.



free-tailed bats, bats, bat habitats, bat ecology


Taylor, E. (2009). Individual-based ecological model of urban resource patch use by Mexican free-tailed bats in Austin, Texas (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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