In spite of the important role played by bats in tropical ecosystems, little is known about how they are affected by habitat fragmentation. By using a mark/recapture protocol and radiotelemetry techniques in a naturally fragmented landscape composed of primary forests and forest fragments surrounded by savannas in Alter do Chão, Pará State, Brazil, we were able to track the movements of various species of bats, calculate the size of the area used, locate roosts and potential feeding areas, and determine preferred flight routes. We marked 3440 bats belonging to 44 species and recaptured 151 belonging to 14 species. The average distance between extra-site recaptures was 2.2 km. With the exception of bats marked in fragments and recaptured in forests, all other possible inter-habitat recaptures were observed. We selected 23 bats of 8 species for radiotelemetry and the areas used by them varied from 65 to 530 ha. Some species restricted their activity to the vicinity of their roosts, rarely moving more than 500 m away, but others traveled greater distances between roosts and foraging areas. All tracked bats flew over savannas, crossing distances from 0.5 to 2.5 km. Roost location and type varied among species, from individuals roosting alone in the foliage to colonies in buildings. Bats were highly mobile and savannas did not appear to inhibit the movements of some species, suggesting that a persistent biological flow may be maintained among isolated fragments, with bats acting as pollinators and seed dispersers.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2