Long-term effects of repeated fuel-reduction burning and logging on bats in south-eastern Australia

  • Published source details Law B., Kathuria A., Chidel M. & Brassil T. (2019) Long-term effects of repeated fuel-reduction burning and logging on bats in south-eastern Australia. Austral Ecology, 44, 1013-1024.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning

    A replicated, randomized, site comparison study in 1990–2004 of 18 forest sites in New South Wales, Australia (Law et al 2019) found that unlogged forest blocks burned every four years had higher overall bat activity and more bat species than blocks burned every two years or unburned blocks, but species composition did not differ and burning had no effect in logged forest. Higher bat activity (2–3 times) and more bat species were recorded in unlogged forest blocks burned every four years than in blocks burned every two years or unburned blocks (data reported as statistical model results). Species composition did not differ significantly between treatments. Burning every two or four years in logged forest blocks did not have a significant effect on bat activity, species richness or composition compared to unburned logged forest. Fifteen bat species or species groups were recorded (see original paper for data for individual species). Three blocks (8–56 ha) in logged and unlogged forest were randomly allocated to one of three treatments: burning every four years, burning every two years, no burning. Prescribed burns began in 1990. Logging was carried out in 1987–1988 with mature trees retained (33% of the original basal area). Each of 18 blocks was surveyed with two bat detectors for two consecutive nights in December 1999, 2001 and 2004.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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