Roosting of Asian parti-coloured bats (Vespertilio sinensis) in man-made structures is frequently results in conflict with humans. Therefore, to determine optimal alternative roosts, we studied roost preference of this species by testing the effects of roost temperature, surrounding environment and the distance from the nearest nursery colony on roost selection by V. sinensis in manipulative field experiments. We installed white (cooler) and black (warmer) bat boxes at shaded and sun-exposed sites. Although no nursery colonies were formed in the bat boxes, a few individuals (1–5) roosted during the lactation period, while many individuals (≥20) roosted during the post-lactation period. During lactation, bats used both white and black boxes, but preferred using the boxes placed at the shaded sites over those placed at the sun-exposed sites. On the other hand, during the post-lactation period, almost all individuals used the white boxes rather than the black boxes. However, adult females preferred the shaded sites while young females preferred the sun-exposed sites. In conclusion, V. sinensis exhibited seasonal changes in roost selection, implying that several types of bat boxes in different environments need to be installed as alternative roosts. In the future, other types of bat boxes should be tested as alternative nursery roosts.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2