Pantelleria island (Sicily, Italy): a biogeographic crossroad for bats between Africa and Europe
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Department of Biogeography, Trier University, Trier, Germany
Naturkundemuseum Erfurt, Germany
Centro Pipistrelli Sardegna, Via G. Leopardi 1 – 07100 Sassari, Italy
Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Evolution (AnEcoEVo), Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Associazione Tutela Pipistrelli, Roma
Online publication date: 2022-05-13
Publication date: 2022-05-13
Corresponding author
Gaetano Fichera   

Department of Biogeography, Trier University, Trier, Germany
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2022;33(2):135–138
Islands often comprise unique faunal assemblages, particularly when they lie at the boundaries of different bioregions or host endemic taxa. Bats are among the few mammals that can regularly be found on islands around the world, yet knowledge on insular bat assemblages is often poor and anecdotal. Here we integrate different approaches to assess the bat assemblage composition on the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria. We found that at least six species occur on the island, including two typically African taxa, thus doubling the numbers known from previous studies. We provide insights into the distribution, biogeography and conservation planning of these bat species, highlighting the importance of studying and conserving insular bat populations.
This work was in part conducted within the Ce.Pi.Sar. "Status of bat species of Sicily and genetic sampling" project. The activities were carried out with the authorization of the Assessorato Regionale delle Risorse Agricole e Alimentari della Regione Sicilia (1742-01/06/2012), The Italian Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea (0009358-07/06/2012) and R.N.O Isola di Pantelleria (5501-17/03/2013). We are also grateful to Pantelleria National Park authorities for permitting the study and providing support during fieldwork on Pantelleria in 2019. Emiliano Mori and Giuseppe Mazza kindly helped in the field. We are also indebted to two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on a preliminary version of this study.