Hitchhiking Bats on the Great Lakes of North America

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dc.contributor Helsingin yliopisto, Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta, Metsätieteiden laitos fi
dc.contributor University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Forest Sciences en
dc.contributor Helsingfors universitet, Agrikultur- och forstvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för skogsvetenskaper sv
dc.contributor.author Lohi, Saska
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.uri URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201507292636
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10138/155761
dc.description.abstract Bats can act as potential vectors for various zoonotic diseases and other pathogens. Therefore their interactions with people should be examined to mitigate potential risks. Bats are small flying mammals and hide in small crevices during daylight hours, making them difficult to observe. Consequently, they have a capacity to “hitchhike” on ships to be dispersed over large distances. This study focused on anthropogenic unintentional bat translocations, i.e. hitchhiking bats. The study area is the Great Lakes region in North America. Using a web-based questionnaire survey, I asked the public about the frequency of bat-human encounters on ships, their nature, and perceived risks and incidents. I found that bats are commonly seen by people working on ships at the Great Lakes. Bats do not cause trouble other than scaring people. Based on photographic evidence, at least one bat was seen on a ship outside of its native range. Therefore ships might act as vectors, helping bats to disperse to new areas. This might provide pathways for pathogens to spread along, from bats to bats or from bats to humans. The risks related to hitchhiking bats seem to be rather limited. Rabies risk is the most obvious, but no cases of people getting rabies infection from hitchhiking bats were acknowledged. The possibility of ships translocating bats infected with Pseudogymnoascus destructans remains unknown. This study demonstrates how by engaging the public it is possible to gather novel scientific knowledge, and deepen our understanding about the relationship between man and wildlife. There are numerous hidden ways of how people interact with animal species. This study illuminates one of these ways, but many more are yet to be studied. en
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Helsingin yliopisto fi
dc.publisher Helsingfors universitet sv
dc.publisher University of Helsinki en
dc.subject Bats en
dc.subject animal dispersal en
dc.subject zoogeography en
dc.subject hitchhiking en
dc.subject zoonoses en
dc.subject wildlife ecology en
dc.subject Chiroptera en
dc.subject Great Lakes en
dc.subject animal translocation en
dc.subject rabies en
dc.subject White-Nose Syndrome en
dc.subject Pseudogymnoascus destructans en
dc.subject lepakot fi
dc.subject eläinten leviäminen fi
dc.subject eläintiede fi
dc.subject maantiede fi
dc.subject taudit fi
dc.subject Suuret järvet fi
dc.subject patogeeni fi
dc.title Hitchhiking Bats on the Great Lakes of North America en
dc.type.ontasot pro gradu-avhandlingar sv
dc.type.ontasot pro gradu -tutkielmat fi
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.subject.discipline Skogsekologi sv
dc.subject.discipline Forest Ecology en
dc.subject.discipline Metsäekologia fi
dct.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201507292636

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