Research objectives and content
I will develop a method for the identification of bats by using multivariate analysis of echolocation call parameters. I will apply this method in a field survey of habitat use by bats in Campania, Italy, an area of high species diversity. I will concentrate on determining habitat use by species listed under Annex II of EC Habitat Directive, i.e. species that deserve special areas of conservation. Eight of the 13 species covered by the Directive are found in my study area. I will study habitat use of at least one species by radiotracking, and will relate this to habitat availability to determine which habitats are preferred. My major objective is to produce guidelines for the conservation of foraging areas by endangered bats. Bats are important indicator species of general habitat quality, so my results will give some measures of overall environmental standards.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
I will be trained in the recording and analysis of ultrasound, in the theory of acoustics, and in radiotracking techniques. I will learn about the design and implementation of sampling programmes for ecological surveys, and the analysis of habitat use data. These skills will be of wide application in conservation biology.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
This project has no direct industrial linkage but has strong environmental relevance to conservation (see project description).