Patterns of roost use by Formosan leaf-nosed bats (Hipposideros armiger terasensis) were studied from November 1998 to April 2000. Structural characteristics, microclimates, and disturbance levels of 17 roosts used by H. a. terasensis and 15 roosts either used by other bat species (2) or not occupied by any bat species were compared. Roosts used by these bats were significantly larger in size and had greater areas covered by water compared to unused roosts. Entrances of active roosts were more likely to be east-west oriented. Hibernacula had lower entrances and ceilings than did roosts used only in summer.
Higher temperatures were recorded in non-breeding roosts than in breeding roosts, but temperature gradients in these two types of roosts did not differ. In winter, hibernacula were warmer, and the temperature fluctuated less than in non-hibernacula. The relative humidities in summer roosts and hibernacula were nearly 100%. Disturbance levels were significantly higher in non-breeding roosts than in breeding roosts, and in non-hibernacula than in hibernacula.
These results suggest that the Formosan leaf-nosed bats are selective of their roosts, but the pattern of their roost selection differs from those reported for bats of temperate regions. The reasons for such differences may be related to differences in body size, behavior, and reproductive strategy of the Formosan leaf-nosed bats living in a subtropical climate in Taiwan.