Gauvain Saucy

Research interests

Swarming site fidelity and interdependence of swarming sites

After a Bachelor of Biology at the University of Neuchâtel, I am currently doing a Master of Biology with specialization in conservation and animal behaviour.

Although they are the second largest family of mammals, bats are still poorly known in Europe comparatively to most other mammals. Many life cycle major events are still badly understood, such as swarming, a behaviour for which consensus has not been reached about it functions. Two major hypotheses – mating and social transmission about hibernacula information – are suggested and are probably not exclusive.

During my master thesis, several swarming sites in the South of Ajoie (Jura, Switzerland) will simultaneously be equipped with automatic ultrasounds recorders to determine whether the swarming activity at each site is independent or whether the local swarming activity is organized in a network including several sites. The use of recorders during the spring will also bring interesting information about the controversial existence of swarming during spring.

In addition, bats caught at swarming sites will be equipped with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. Readers installed at the sites whose recorders will have revealed swarming activity will highlight the movements and site fidelity of individuals, including females and youths.

A better understanding important life cycle events of bats  such as swarming will help to conserve these species.