Leaf-nosed bat species richness (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) across habitat types in a neotropical wet forest of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Neotropical ecosystems are teeming with diversity but unfortunately, many areas are experiencing dramatic levels of degradation. In this study, I compared species richness of Phyllostomidae in secondary, riparian and old growth forest sites to test whether general patterns of diversity applied at the local scale. This study synthesizes data gathered as part of undergraduate field courses that took place between 2013 and 2018 in the Osa peninsula. Much of the study area is early successional secondary forest recovering from agricultural use with remnants of old growth vegetation. Overall, 21 species of Phyllostomidae were identified over 38 nights of sampling. While there were no significant differences in species richness between old growth and secondary forest sites, there were significant difference between these two forest types and riparian habitats. These results highlight the importance of considering surrounding areas when making decisions about the conservation value of specific habitats at the local level.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Doris Audet