Tanja M. Straka

Tanja M. Straka
Technische Universität Berlin | TUB · Institute of Ecology

PhD (Urban Ecology)

About

36
Publications
10,658
Reads
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285
Citations
Introduction
I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Technische Universität Berlin with a PhD from the University of Melbourne. My main research interests are urban ecology, urban bats and human dimensions of wildlife conservation.
Additional affiliations
March 2011 - April 2015
University of Melbourne
Position
  • PhD Student
March 2011 - April 2015
University of Melbourne
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
April 2002 - June 2008

Publications

Publications (36)
Article
Full-text available
Speculations about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 have catapulted bats into the spotlight of scientific and societal attention, with unforeseen consequences for bat conservation. In two global surveys with bat experts before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, we assessed their (i) threat perceptions, emotions towards bats and social trust in decision make...
Article
Full-text available
Managing non‐native species in cities is often controversial because these species can support both ecosystem services and disservices. Yet, how the acceptability of non‐native species management by the general public differs in relation to native species, to distance (i.e. close to residence and elsewhere) and among plants and animals is understud...
Article
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Cemeteries are globally culturally protected greenspaces in cities that meet different societal needs and often harbor high biodiversity. To harness the potential of cemeteries as urban green infrastructure, stakeholders need to understand why people visit cemeteries and their preferences. We conducted an online survey in Berlin, Germany (n = 627)...
Article
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The prevailing trend of increasing urbanisation and habitat fragmentation makes knowledge of species’ habitat requirements and distribution a crucial factor in conservation and urban planning. Species distribution models (SDMs) offer powerful toolboxes for discriminating the underlying environmental factors driving habitat suitability. Nevertheless...
Article
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In an era of urbanization, forests are a key component of the urban green infrastructure, providing multiple benefits to urban residents. While emerging forests on urban wasteland could increase the urban forest area, it is unclear how residents view such novel forest types. In a comparative self-administered online survey, we assessed attitudes an...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding differences in the way people think about wildlife across countries is important as many conservation challenges transcend jurisdictions. We explored differences in wildlife value orientations in seven countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Serbia. Standard scales assessed domination (prioritizing...
Article
Full-text available
In citizen science (CS) projects, acquired knowledge about a specific topic is the most frequently acknowledged learning outcome. However, whether both citizens and scientists perceive the same knowledge to be relevant to citizens’ learning in such projects remains unknown. Thus, establishing coherence between citizens’ information needs and scient...
Article
Vor dem Hintergrund des kontinuierlichen Rückgangs an potenziellen Quartieren von Fledermäusen in der Stadt, kommen Fledermauskästen als möglichen Ersatzquartieren eine immer größere Bedeutung zu. Inwiefern diese im urbanen Raum von Fledermäusen genutzt werden, ist jedoch nur wenig bekannt, da sich bisherige Studien überwiegend auf die Untersuchun...
Article
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In order to deal with the current dramatic biodiversity decline, the public at large needs to be aware of and participate in biodiversity research activities. One way to do so is to involve citizens in citizen science (CS) projects. These are projects in which researchers collaborate with volunteering citizens in scientific research projects. Yet,...
Article
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Global change, including urbanisation, threatens many of the >1400 bat species. Nevertheless, certain areas within highly urbanised cities may be suitable to harbour bat populations. Thus, managing urban habitats could contribute to bat conservation. Here, we wanted to establish evidence-based recommendations on how to improve urban spaces for the...
Article
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Citizen science (CS) projects engage citizens for research purposes and promote individual learning outcomes such as scientific reasoning (SR) skills. SR refers to participants’ skills to solve problems scientifically. However, the evaluation of CS projects’ effects on learning outcomes has suffered from a lack of assessment instruments and resourc...
Article
Human dimensions (HD) research is a discipline of conservation social sciences that applies social and psychological sciences to understand and influence conservation-relevant human behaviour. An understanding of the human dimensions is particularly required for bats because they are widely maligned and misunderstood and face many threats due to hu...
Article
Full-text available
The conservation of pollinators requires social understanding to catalyse restoration action. Citizen science (CS) is discussed as a way to promote interest and action for pollinating insects. Yet, the drivers behind pro-pollinator behaviour are largely unclear, especially in urban areas. To better understand public engagement in pollinator conserv...
Article
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Management strategies to reduce human-carnivore conflict are most effective when accepted by local communities. Previous studies have suggested that the acceptance depends on emotions toward carnivores, the cultural importance of carnivores, and livestock depredation, and that it may vary depending on the types of strategies and carnivores involved...
Article
Full-text available
Most studies in urban areas focus on green areas within a city given their high value for biodiversity. However, very few have investigated the impact of urbanization on urban green areas at the fringe of cities, as well as long-term data to gather temporal changes. Bats are an interesting taxon to study the impact of urbanization on biodiversity g...
Article
Full-text available
While cities are invasion hotspots, the view of urban residents on non-native species is critically understudied and important knowledge gap since strategies on biological invasions could gain power by integrating human values, attitudes and perceptions. How citizens perceive the non-native tree Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) is unknown despi...
Article
The increase in artificial light at night (ALAN) is widely considered as a major driver for the worldwide decline of nocturnal pollinators such as moths. However, the relationship between light and trees as ‘islands of shade’ within urban areas has not yet been fully understood. Here, we studied (1) the effects of three landscape variables, i.e. so...
Article
Photo stimuli can be an effective way to engage people in wildlife conservation by stimulating emotions and cognitions. In a before-after experiment, we studied the effects of two sets of photo stimuli (bat under distress vs. bat with engaged human) on the observer’s wildlife value orientations, emotions, attitudes (bats/conservation) and behaviora...
Article
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Green-green dilemmas are particularly challenging since they involve two desirable goals, yet with detrimental counter-effects. Although wind energy production is to some desirable as a form of renewable energy for reducing global CO 2 emission, it conflicts with conservation goals when airborne animals die during collisions. Yet, protecting specie...
Article
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Nocturnal arthropods form the prey base for many predators and are an integral part of complex food webs. However, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms influencing invertebrates at urban water bodies and the potential flow-on effects to their predators. This study aims to: (i) understand the importance of standing water bodies for noctu...
Article
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Although renewable energy production is widely accepted as clean, it is not necessarily environmental neutral since, for example, wind turbines kill large numbers of airborne animals such as bats. Consequently, stakeholders involved in the planning and operation of wind turbines are often in conflict when trying to reconcile both goals, namely, pro...
Article
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Wolf management actions are seldom universally accepted and understanding diverse opinions is of value for conservation practitioners. Previous research has either investigated cognitions or emotions to understand public acceptability of wolf management actions. We investigated both concepts simultaneously to identify whether their predictive poten...
Article
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Artificial light at night has large impacts on nocturnal wildlife such as bats, yet its effect varies with wavelength of light, context, and across species involved. Here, we studied in two experiments how wild bats of cave-roosting species (Rhinolophus mehelyi, R. euryale, Myotis capaccinii and Miniopterus schreibersii) respond to LED lights of di...
Article
Full-text available
With urban areas growing worldwide, so does artificial light at night (ALAN) which negatively affects many nocturnal animals, including bats. The response of bats to ALAN ranges from some opportunistic species taking advantage of insect aggregations around street lamps, particularly those emitting ultraviolet (UV) light, to others avoiding lit area...
Poster
Green areas of cities encompass a large range of wildlife species. In recent years, research focused on understanding the environmental conditions that allow for any particular species to settle in an urban area, thereby covering different taxa from mammals to invertebrates. Usually such studies focus on one species or a group of very similar speci...
Article
Effective leaders are critical in determining successful outcomes of conservation programs. As the business and economic leadership literature shows, awareness around cultural differences in leadership attributes is important for positive project outcomes set in inter-cultural contexts. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to understa...
Article
Full-text available
Australia has diverse landscapes ranging from wet tropical regions in the north to temperate regions in the south and a vast arid interior. This variety has given rise to not only a speciose bat fauna, but also a variety of wetland ecosystems. The relationship between bats and wetlands is influenced by a range of environmental gradients including:...
Article
Roads can form barriers to movement for many species, and may reduce the ability of individuals to access foraging and breeding habitat. The impacts of roads on terrestrial fauna has been well studied, however little is known of the impact of roads on insectivorous bats. Wildlife crossing structures (e.g. fauna underpasses) may reduce the barrier i...
Article
Preferences for landscapes are critical because they can drive landscape changes over time. The mediating role of wildlife value orientations in influencing preferences for urban wetlands through the provision of ecological information (based on insectivorous bats) was experimentally tested. Residents (N = 198) were asked about their preferences fo...
Data
Table S1. Landscape‐scale measures of urbanization. Table S2. The number of calls from insectivorous bats recorded at 93 sites (58 wetlands and 35 non‐wetland habitat sites). Table S3. Model selection results for landscape and wetland models.
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands support unique biota and provide important ecosystem services. These services are highly threatened due to the rate of loss and relative rarity of wetlands in most landscapes, an issue that is exacerbated in highly modified urban environments. Despite this, critical ecological knowledge is currently lacking for many wetland-dependent taxa,...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
In this project we seek to understand what shapes biodiversity in urban cemeteries, including religious affiliation and management. We also aim to understand benefits that people gain from experiencing the biodiversity in these sacred sites.
Project
In this project we seek to understand how milder winter months impact bat and insect (prey) activity in urban areas. This project involves acoustic monitoring, light trapping and dietary studies. We are now in our second year and aim for a long-term study.
Project
An understanding of the human dimensions is particularly required for bats because they are widely maligned and misunderstood and face many threats due to human behaviour. Within the Bat Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, we have created a “Human Dimensions of Bat Conservation” working group as part of the Global Union of Bat Diversity Networks (GBatNet).