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1 June 2011 Sex-Specific Habitat Selection in an Edge Habitat Specialist, the Western Barbastelle Bat
Jessica Hillen, Thorsten Kaster, Jasmine Pahle, Andreas Kiefer, Ortwin Elle, Eva Maria Griebeler, Michael Veith
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Abstract

The niche variation hypothesis suggests that a population's ability to react to varying environmental conditions depend on the behavioural variability of its members. However, most studies on bats, including the work on the habitat use of the western barbastelle bat, Barbastella barbastellus, have not considered sex-specific and individual variability. We studied the habitat use of 12 female and five male western barbastelle bats within their home ranges with respect to available habitat types by applying kernel methods and Euclidean distances. Our results indicate individual habitat preferences within and among sexes of this species. Females preferred deciduous forest and linear elements within the forest. Males used habitat patches in the vicinity of the maternity colony and preferred forest edges and open habitats. Our results strongly suggest that both sexes' as well as individual variability in habitat choice are to be considered to assess a population's true potential to react on habitat alterations.

© Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board 2011
Jessica Hillen, Thorsten Kaster, Jasmine Pahle, Andreas Kiefer, Ortwin Elle, Eva Maria Griebeler, and Michael Veith "Sex-Specific Habitat Selection in an Edge Habitat Specialist, the Western Barbastelle Bat," Annales Zoologici Fennici 48(3), 180-190, (1 June 2011). https://doi.org/10.5735/086.048.0306
Received: 8 October 2010; Accepted: 1 February 2011; Published: 1 June 2011
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