Close approach radio-tracking was used to investigate time and space use for both sexes of Rhinolophus hipposideros. Fifteen bats (nine males and six females, from three roosts) were radio-tracked ( = 6.7 nights) within and around the National Trust Sherborne Park Estate, Gloucestershire (UK), between June and October 2003, at least seven of which (six males and one female) relocated to a different day roost after capture. The mean number of activity bouts per night was 3.5, each lasting for an average of 148 minutes. The mean distance travelled between fixes during each bout of activity was 3.8 km, and per night was 14.2 km. An average of 3.3 (SE = 1.8, range = 1–7, n = 12) night roosts were used per bat. Those individuals which continued roosting within the estate (n = 13) occupied a group foraging range covering approximately 1,175 ha with a 6.3 km range span (100% minimum convex polygon). The corresponding areas using the 95% Kernel isopleth and 95% Dirichlet tessellation enclosed approximately 539 ha and 1,553 ha, respectively. The maximum distance a bat was tracked from the roost of capture was 4.6 km, although the mean (n = 15) was much lower (2.2 km). A mean of 42% of the radio-tracking fixes from bats with at least one whole night of data were associated with night roosting, and of those, 56% were from the boiler room of a residential property within Sherborne village (used by 12 of the 15 bats). Therefore a range of suitable night roosts (i.e. sheltered locations adjacent to foraging areas) should be available throughout the foraging range (a minimum of 3 km from the roost) of a R. hipposideros colony. Night roosts on the edge of the home range, and warm night roosts are especially important.
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Vol. 18 • No. 1