Activity and foraging habitats of Miniopterus schreibersii (Chiroptera: Miniopteridae) in southern France: implications for its conservation.
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Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux - Drôme, pôle Chiroptères, 10 rue Roch Grivel, 26400 Crest, France
Société Française pour l’Etude et la Protection des Mammifères / Conservatoire Régional des Espaces Naturels de Midi-Pyrénées, B.P. 43053, 31025 Toulouse cedex 03, France
Société Française pour l’Etude et la Protection des Mammifères / Comportement et Ecologie de la Faune Sauvage, Institut National de Recherche Agronomique, B.P. 52627, 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex, France
Publication date: 2010-10-05
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2011;22(1)
Comprehensive knowledge of roosting and foraging ecology is essential for conserving bats.
Therefore, the four-year LIFE Nature programme "Conservation of three cave-dwelling bats in Southern France" included an autoecological study of Miniopterus schreibersii, a highly gregarious cave-dwelling species. In a colony of 3-5000 adults, 21 females were radio-tracked during pregnancy and lactating periods, when some of them switched roosts within a 30 km radius around the maternity colony. Every night, for about 6 hours, each bat flew far from the roost (4.1 to 29.2 km) to forage on several small feeding areas (1 to 9 over a few nights). Mean individual home-range estimation averaged 10837 ha for pregnant females, 22318 ha for lactating females. Urban areas lighted by white street lamps were used extensively. Some bats also foraged selectively in deciduous or mixed woodlands and in orchards and parks. The importance of hedgerows was confirmed. Conservation of M. schreibersii must be planned at a large scale, protecting a network of roosts nd promoting nature-friendly agricultural practices.
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