Loss of roosting sites is one of the main threats to bat populations and is heightened in species with highly specific roost requirements. Plecotus auritus is common, but in the decline in the UK and although there have been studies of its roost use in Scotland, little is known of its roost biology in the milder south-west of England. This study compared five internal and three landscape features of roosts in stone buildings with those of random and paired unoccupied buildings in Cornwall (UK) in order to determine the roost selectivity of the brown long-eared bat. Bats selected roosts mainly for their vicinity, and connection, to foraging habitat. Occupied buildings were thus more likely to be situated closer to deciduous woodland than random control buildings, and were connected through tree lines. Roosts were also found to have a roof space divided into more compartments than paired and random controls and no insulation These characteristics influence the building microclimate. These findings suggest that P. auritus is selective of its roosts both at the building and the landscape levels.
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