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1 June 2016 Foraging Strategy of Kuhl's Pipistrelle at the Northern Edge of the Species Distribution
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Abstract
Rapid range expansion of Kuhl's pipistrelle (Pipistrellus kuhlii) has been observed throughout Europe, and in addition to its natural habitats of temperate grasslands and agricultural areas, the species is common in city centres, where it roosts in human-made structures. It has been suggested that the flexibility of this species in regard to different human-induced changes, such as climate change and urbanization, is responsible for the apparent range shift. Although P. kuhlii exhibits one of the highest degrees of synanthropy among bat species in Europe, its ecology has thus far not been thoroughly studied. This study aims to describe its foraging and roosting selection in Central Europe (eastern Slovakia), where the northernmost maternity colony of P. kuhlii roosts in human settlements. Radio-tracking was conducted during the pre-parturition and post-lactation periods. We identified six artificial roosts within the study area that were interlinked, with bats switching between them. Ten individuals were used for modelling foraging-habitat utilization, which revealed that bats were highly selective. The only habitat type that bats clearly preferred, regardless of season, was an urban illuminated area close to a river. Only slight avoidance — of open areas — was observed during the pre-parturition period.
© Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS
Edita Maxinová, Marina Kipson, Ladislav Naďo, Petra Hradická and Marcel Uhrin "Foraging Strategy of Kuhl's Pipistrelle at the Northern Edge of the Species Distribution," Acta Chiropterologica 18(1), (1 June 2016). https://doi.org/10.3161/15081109ACC2016.18.1.012
Received: 21 October 2015; Accepted: 1 February 2016; Published: 1 June 2016
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