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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 8:69-78 (2009)  -  DOI:

Foraging behaviour of the long-fingered bat Myotis capaccinii: implications for conservation and management

David Almenar, Joxerra Aihartza, Urtzi Goiti, Egoitz Salsamendi, Inazio Garin*

Zoologia Saila, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU), 644 PK, 48080 Bilbao, The Basque Country
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The main factors threatening Myotis capaccinii (Bonaparte, 1837) are considered to be foraging habitat degradation and roost loss. Conservation strategies that focus on the protection of roosts are feasible as long as direct threats by human activities are correctly identified. However, before protection of foraging habitat can be implemented more accurate information is required. We review the available information of relevance to foraging habitat management for the species. Three main topics are considered based on the results of a radiotelemetry study on 45 ind. in 3 seasons: habitat dependence, features of foraging habitat, and spatial range. M. capaccinii foraged almost completely over aquatic habitats as in other telemetry studies. We discuss the importance of terrestrial habitats and the dependence of the species on aquatic habitats. It has been proposed that several factors affect habitat selection in this species. The presence of smooth, clutter-free water surfaces seems to be the most important structural factor, but we found that prey richness also affected habitat selection. Effects of features related to riparian vegetation and water quality are thought to vary according to local conditions. Preference for wide water bodies is probably linked to preference for smooth surfaces, where detection and trawling of prey is favoured. As highlighted by recent telemetry studies, we observed M. capaccinii foraging at long distances from the roost. Therefore, the area of application for conservation measures should be large: we suggest a protection radius of 20 km around roosts.

KEY WORDS: Myotis capaccinii · Bats · Conservation · Management · Foraging · Aquatic habitats

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Cite this article as: Almenar D, Aihartza J, Goiti U, Salsamendi E, Garin I (2009) Foraging behaviour of the long-fingered bat Myotis capaccinii: implications for conservation and management. Endang Species Res 8:69-78.

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