In response to the rapid decline of greater horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) in Europe, conservation efforts have previously focused on protecting maternity roosts and hibernacula. Currently, there is little information available on the ecology of this species outside of these 2 main periods. This study investigates patterns of roost use, ranging behavior, habitat use, and diet of R. ferrumequinum using data collected from a transitional roost studied over 3 years in Dorset, United Kingdom. The roost was predominantly used during the spring and autumn, and acted as a link between maternity roosts and hibernacula. Compositional analysis of ranging behavior collected in the spring revealed that R. ferrumequinum selected grazed pastures and broad-leaved woodland compared with other available habitat. Diet analysis revealed that there was little difference between the diet of individuals using the transitional roost and the nearest known R. ferrumequinum maternity colony. Broad-leaved woodlands within 4 km of transitional roosts used by R. ferrumequinum in the spring should be protected to help conserve this species.
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