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Características de refugios naturales usados por murciélagos en un bosque húmedo tropical (Santander, Colombia)

Darly Rodríguez-Jiménez, Jairo Pérez-Torres, Catalina Torres-Palacios

Abstract: Understanding which variables influence bats’ use of natural refuges allows us to analyse the physiological requirements that limit their permanence in a certain place. Biotic and abiotic variables were evaluated in relation to the presence of bats in the natural roosts of a humid tropical forest (Santander, Colombia) in January 2020. Natural roosts (with the presence of bats) and a control group (available roosts without the presence of bats) were located and described in forest and grassland areas. Temperature and relative humidity were measured and compared between groups. The heterogeneity index (difference in physiognomy given the diversity of plants) and the plant complexity index (degree of stratification of the plant formation) were also calculated using a principal component analysis (PCA). Significant differences were found in temperature (t= 20.32, n= 287, g.l.= 286, p<0.001 in grasslands; t= -7.44, n= 287, g.l.= 286, p<0.001 in forests) and relative humidity (t= 7.458, n= 287, g.l.= 286, p<0.001 in grasslands; t= -15.63, n= 287, g.l.= 286, p<0.001 in forests) between the occupied roosts and the control roosts. The heterogeneity index of the roosts (3,028) was higher than the controls (2,737). The complexity of the used roosts (0.127) was higher than the controls (-0.54). The dissimilarity in the variables between the shelters and the controls shows a differentiated use of the resting roosts available.

Resumen: Conocer qué variables influencian el uso de refugios naturales por parte de los murciélagos permite analizar las exigencias fisiológicas que limitan su permanencia en un lugar determinado. En este estudio se evaluaron variables bióticas y abióticas con relación a la presencia de murciélagos en refugios naturales de un bosque húmedo tropical (Santander, Colombia) en enero de 2020. Se localizaron y describieron los refugios naturales (con presencia de murciélagos) y un grupo control (refugios sin presencia de murciélagos) tanto en zonas de bosque como en zonas de pastizal. Se registró la temperatura y humedad relativa y se compararon como medidas apareadas entre refugios activos y controles. Se calculó el índice de heterogeneidad (diferencia en la fisionomía dado la diversidad de plantas) y el índice de complejidad vegetal (grado de estratificación de la formación vegetal) mediante un análisis de componentes principales (PCA). Entre los refugios activos y los controles se encontraron diferencias significativas en la temperatura (t= 20,32, n= 287, g.l.= 286, p< 0,001 en pastizal; t= -7,44, n= 287, g.l.= 286, p< 0,001 en bosque) y la humedad relativa (t= 7,458, n= 287, g.l.= 286, p< 0,001 en pastizal; t= -15,63, n= 287, g.l.= 286, p< 0,001 en bosque). El índice de heterogeneidad de los refugios (3,028) fue mayor en comparación a los controles (2,737). La complejidad de los refugios usados (0,127) fue mayor en comparación a los controles (-0,54). La disimilitud en las variables entre los refugios y los controles demuestran un uso diferenciado de los sitios de descanso disponibles.

Effects of the temperature on activity patterns and torpor in Saccolaimus saccolaimus in Bangladesh with notes on its morphometrics and roosting behaviour

AHM Ali Reza, Anik Saha, Mohammed Mostafa Feeoz, Md. Kamrul Hasan

Abstract: Saccolaimus saccolaimus is one of the six Emballonurid bats and the only species from the genus Saccolaimus that occurs in South and Southeast Asia. This species utilizes tree hollows, damaged palm trees, and occasionally artificial structures as roosts. We recorded a total of 22 bats from 10 colonies located at two dormitories in Jahangirnagar University (JU) in a sub-urban setting in central Bangladesh. The number of bats per colony varied between 1-9 individuals, with an average of four bats per colony. We found that the colonies of S. saccolaimus emerged from roosting sites when the temperature was 22.5°C or higher. The highest bat activity was recorded in September (79.66 mins) when the air temperature was 27.66°C, and the lowest was in January (47.01 mins) when the air temperature was 17.46°C. We observed variations in bat activity in different months, and bat activity was strongly correlated (r = 0.72) with air temperature. The most extended torpor period for the colonies was recorded for 27 days. The mean weight for male S. saccolaimus in JU was 41.66 ± 0.29 (41.46-42) g, whereas for females was 45.32 ± 3.08 (43.14-47.5) g. Although some variation was observed in the morphological measurements, the morphometric analysis indicated no significant differences between specimens from Bangladesh and the neighbouring countries. Further research is needed to understand various ecological aspects of S. saccolaimus in Bangladesh. Therefore, to do so, the existing colonies on JU campus should be extensively monitored.

Bats in the Maldives: a review of historical data and first record of a vagrant Long-winged Tomb Bat (Emballonuridae: Taphozous longimanus)

R. Charles Anderson, Rohit Chakravarty, Sreehari Raman

Abstract: The Maldives is a country made up entirely of coral atolls with very limited terrestrial habitat diversity and only one known resident bat species: the Maldivian Flying Fox, Pteropus medius ariel. Here we report the first confirmed record of any insectivorous bat from the Maldives: a single bat that flew on board a boat off Raa Atoll in the north of Maldives on 13 February 2019. Wind trajectory analysis suggests that it had flown from Kerala, south India. From photos and morphometric estimates, we could identify it as a Long-winged Tomb Bat Taphozous longimanus. Reports of Flying Foxes from the Maldives (P. medius ariel and P. hypomelanus maris) are also reviewed. The former is widespread and common, while the latter is known only from a single disputed and now apparently missing specimen.

Addendum: Camiña et al. (2022) Impacto en los quirópteros de dos parques eólicos en el Valle del Ebro (Zaragoza) y propuesta de mitigación

Álvaro Camiña, José Antonio Pinzolas, María Inmaculada Ibañez, Nana Vicente, Hernando García-Albi

Abstract: This note summarizes the results of the second year of post-construction fatality monitoring (PCFM) at two wind farms in the Ebro Valley, Saragossa province, Spain, being an addendum and adding a correction to our previous paper. Throughout 2021 we found 168 bat fatalities between March and October, a 46.2% decrease compared to 2020. Three new species, the European free-tailed bat Tadarida teniotis, Leiser’s bat Nyctalus leisleri, and Schreiber’s Bat Miniopterus schreibersii were found in fatalities. Using 0.2 and 0.4 as detectability rates, and 3.46 and 6.97 days as carcass persistence and search frequency respectively, fatality estimates ranged between 188-751 bats (17.06-68.26 bats/turbine/yr., equivalent to 5.84-23.35 bats MW/yr.); these values partially overlap those obtained in 2020. Thus, we conclude that the decrease in bat mortality might not be realistic. We also reviewed further PCFM reports from the developer’s consultancy. There were major gaps when studying the bat activity like the interpretation of bat passes or fatalities found, including biases and proper fatality estimations. They found an additional species in the bat records, the Grey long-eared bat Plecotus austriacus. Overall, either counting fatalities or detecting calls, after two years the bat community accounted for nine species. The spatial (turbines) and time (monthly) distribution of bat fatalities showed strong consistency in 2020 and 2021. The results of the second year of monitoring reinforce the previous work done, and the idea of developing cumulative analyses in a wider area. The study also considers the development of new National bat guidelines and protocols for the wind energy sector, when to classify turbines as dangerous for bats and the mitigation measures to apply according to fatality thresholds.

Resumen: Esta adenda incluye los resultados del segundo año del monitoreo post-construcción de dos parques eólicos en el Valle del Ebro en la provincia de Zaragoza, además de hacer una corrección a nuestro trabajo anterior. En 2021 detectamos 168 colisiones de murciélagos entre marzo y octubre, lo que representa un descenso del 46.2% respecto al año 2020. Se encontraron tres especies más colisionada, el murciélago rabudo Tadarida teniotis, el murciélago de cueva Miniopterus schreibersii y el nóctulo pequeño Nyctalus leisleri. Empleando las tasas de detectabilidad anteriores de 0,2 y 0,4 y los valores de 3,46 y 6,97 días como tasas de permanencia de los cadáveres y frecuencia entre visitas respectivamente, la estima de siniestralidad fueron de 188-751 murciélagos (17,06-68,26 murciélagos/aero/año, equivalentes a 5,84-23,35 murciélagos/ MW/año). Estos resultados se solapan ligeramente con los obtenidos en 2020. Por ello, concluimos que el descenso de siniestralidad observado puede no ser real. Hemos revisado además más informes del Plan de Vigilancia Ambiental de la consultora. Detectamos carencias importantes en el estudio de la actividad de los murciélagos así como en el número de colisiones que detectaron. La detección mediante ultrasonidos añadió una especie adicional a la comunidad de quirópteros, el murciélago orejudo gris Plecotus austriacus. Como estrategia de mitigación proponían instalar cajas refugio para murciélagos, lo que podría incrementar aún más la siniestralidad y constituir un sumidero para sus poblaciones. En conjunto, bien a través de las colisiones o del seguimiento de actividad, la comunidad de quirópteros en la zona asciende de momento a nueve especies. La distribución espacial de las colisiones en los aerogeneradores y la temporal a lo largo de los meses del año muestra una gran similitud en ambos años. Los resultados de ese segundo año de seguimiento refuerzan las conclusiones del trabajo anterior y la idea de desarrollar análisis del impacto acumulativo en un área más extensa, discutiéndose los objetivos de la Comisión de seguimiento creada por el Gobierno de Aragón con esta idea. Además, se valoran las directrices de seguimiento de quirópteros y protocolos de mitigación del Ministerio de Transición Ecológica y Reto Demográfico (MITERD) y su aplicación a los proyectos estudiados.

The tale of an ice-preserved Alpine Long-Eared Bat in the Pyrenees

Julia Galán, Carmen Núñez-Lahuerta, Miguel Bartolomé

Abstract: The Alpine Long-eared Bat Plecotus macrobullaris (Kuzjakin, 1965) is a relatively recently defined species and one of the few bats able to occupy the high-mountain environment. The phylogenetic studies of this species suggest that it originated before the Middle Pleistocene. However, it has never been reported in ancient chronologies, no fossils are known, and the older recognized specimens are those from museum collections. One of the main reasons for this lack of ancient and fossil record is that the skeletal anatomy of this species has not been described in detail yet, making difficult the correct assignation of skeletal remains. We present a Long-eared Bat individual that was ice-preserved within the perennial ice in a high-mountain ice cave, SO-01, in the Pyrenees. The bat skin was radiocarbon dated, pointing that the specimen died more likely in a timeframe between 1760 and 1800 AD. Following previously published criteria based on cranial diagnostic features the recovered specimen was assigned to P. macrobullaris, which represents the most ancient record of this species in the Pyrenees and probably worldwide. In addition, some new observations have been described on both cranial and postcranial anatomical traits.

Bat Noise Scrubber Bias Adjustment Using the Rogan-Gladen Estimator and Bayesian Inference

Peter Ommundsen

Abstract: The number of bat call files recorded in acoustic surveys may be used to assess comparative bat activity levels over time and among habitats. Acoustic signal processing can segregate bat files from noise files and thus quickly provide an estimate of the number of bat files in a large sample of recordings. However, false positive and false negative classifications may result in a biased estimate requiring adjustment, as inaccurate bat numbers may impact bat conservation decisions. Previous research has ranked software classification accuracy in comparison to the visual classification of spectrograms. Small classification errors can result in considerable bias in software-derived estimates of the number of bat call files in a sample. Estimation bias may not have a linear relationship to the percentage of files containing bats, requiring unique correction coefficients. The focus of this note is to 1) illustrate patterns of bias that may result from noise scrubbing and 2) to illustrate the application of two methods of bias adjustment, the Rogan-Gladen estimator and Bayesian inference. The expected bias of four noise scrubbing tools from the literature, each of different measured accuracy, was plotted over a simulated range of true bat file prevalence while holding constant the accuracy of each scrubber. Rogan-Gladen bias adjustment was accurate for all four noise scrubbers. Bayesian bias adjustment showed low overall error, with some inflation at very low bat file prevalence. Caveats in the use of both bias adjustment methods are discussed.

First records of the Hairy-winged bat (Harpiocephalus harpia) from Nepal

Dibya Raj Dahal, Sanjan Thapa, Rameshower Ghimire, Gabor Csorba, Nanda Bahadur Singh

Abstract: Harpiocephalus is a monospecific genus including only the species Harpiocephalus harpia and is reported only from ten countries in Southeast Asia. H. harpia has been reported in several habitats but has a relatively patchy distribution, and its population monitoring and ecological studies are scarce or absent in many regions. During chiropteran surveys in 2016 and 2021, three individuals of the large Tubenosed bats (subfamily Murininae) were caught in Central and Eastern Nepal. Based on the following external morphological characteristics, the bats were distinguished from Murina spp. and identified as H. harpia: larger body, hairy and short muzzle, heavily haired feet and interfemoral membrane, long reddish hairs in dorsal pelage, white-tipped hairs over the head and neck; and whitish to greyish ventral pelage. These specimens represent the country’s first records of H. harpia and represent a remarkable extension of the specie range as it is approximately 400 km westward from its previously known distribution area.

Primeras citas de Pipistrellus nathusii (Keyserling y Blasius, 1839) en la Comunidad Autónoma de Castilla y León (España)

Daniel Fernández Alonso, Raúl Molleda García

Abstract: The Pipistrellus nathusii is a European bat species which used to be considered a wintering bat in the Iberian Peninsula. In the last decades, some wintering individuals have been found on the Cantabrian coast, the Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands. Resident individuals have been found in Catalonia and Cantabria. The generalised lack of knowledge about this species across the whole distribution area in Spain hampers the development of conservation initiatives and management plans towards its conservation. In this paper, we contribute with the first two records from two localities, both in the province of Burgos, in the north of the Castilla y León Autonomous Community (Spain), updating the total number of species in the region up to 29.

Resumen: El murciélago de Nathusius (Pipistrellus nathusii) es una especie europea considerada tradicionalmente como invernante en la Península Ibérica. En las últimas décadas se han encontrado ejemplares invernantes en la franja cantábrica, costa mediterránea e Islas Baleares, y ejemplares residentes en Cataluña y Cantabria. El desconocimiento general sobre esta especie en todo el territorio limita el potencial de iniciativas y acciones de conservación para la especie. En este trabajo se presentan las primeras citas de la especie para la Comunidad Autónoma de Castilla y León (España), procedentes de dos localidades del norte de Burgos, elevando el número oficial de especies de la región a 29.

Important agricultural and cotton pests detected in the diet of two threatened insectivorous bats in a cotton agroecosystem: insights from a molecular study

Heidi Kolkert, Rose Andrew, Rhiannon Smith, Romina Rader, Nick Reid

Abstract: Australian insectivorous bats are known to occupy and use resources in agroecosystems, yet little is known about their diets. We analysed a scat sample each from two individual bats, both threatened species (Chalinolobus picatus and Vespadelus baverstocki), in a major dryland cotton production zone. Both bats consumed economically important agricultural and cotton pests such as Helicoverpa sp. (bollworm). Our results suggest that these two bat species share around half of the insect prey resources available whilst consuming a wide range of prey items. This snapshot of dietary data provides further evidence that insectivorous bats consume a wide range of insect prey, including pests in cropping areas.

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Forest bats in Southern Salamanca (Spain): rare or understudied? Insights from a highly diverse community

Pedro Alonso-Alonso, Jorge Sereno-Cadierno, Xosé Pardavila, Miguel Lizana

Abstract: Forest-dwelling bats are a poorly studied group in Iberia. Little information is available about their abundance, conservation status, and, for some regions, even their distribution. This is the case in the western sector of the Sistema Central mountain range, an interesting area from a biogeographical point of view that potentially could host rich bat communities. However, there is almost no published information about forest bats in the region. From 2017 to 2019 we carried out acoustic and mistnetting surveys in the province of Salamanca (Western Spain), intending to fill this gap in the faunistic knowledge of the area. Our work has revealed a very diverse bat community, reaching 19 species out of the 31 known in Iberia. We obtained new data for forest-specialist species, including many records of the rare Myotis bechsteinii, Barbastella barbastellus and Nyctalus lasiopterus. Most interestingly, we also found a high abundance of Myotis mystacinus which is rarely captured. This study provides novel information about the distribution, status, and ecology of bats in the forests of one western sector of Sistema Central and highlights the importance of the area for conserving these species in the Iberian context. The large number of new records emphasizes the lack of sampling in the region and the need to get better knowledge to develop informed management and conservation decisions.

Impacto en los quirópteros de dos parques eólicos en el Valle del Ebro (Zaragoza) y propuesta de mitigación

Álvaro Camiña, José Antonio Pinzolas, María Inmaculada Ibañez, Nana Vicente, Hernando García-Albi

Abstract: Este trabajo analiza la siniestralidad de murciélagos (27,09 ae/año) y aves (10,09 ae/año) en dos parques eólicos de cinco y seis aerogeneradores en Aragón a lo largo de un ciclo anual en el Valle del Ebro. Comparamos los resultados de este estudio con los del promotor, profundizando en los errores de detectabilidad y tasa de permanencia asociados que afectan a la estima de mortalidad. Se identificaron cinco especies Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Pipistrellus pygmaeus y Pipistrellus kuhlii, Eptesicus serotinus e Hypsugo savii que colisionaron principalmente entre junio y octubre. La mortalidad anual de quirópteros se estimó entre 388-5.460 ejemplares al año, una de las mayores mortalidades detectadas a nivel mundial. A pesar de ser especies comunes de distribución amplia el impacto cuantitativo no es asumible. Con las conclusiones obtenidas del Plan de Vigilancia Ambiental (PVA) no se evaluaron correctamente los impactos que pasaron desapercibidos por la utilización errónea de la metodología de seguimiento referida a la frecuencia de visitas o área de búsqueda, y su análisis posterior de las tasas de predación, eficiencia del observador y estima de la mortalidad. Proponemos un programa de mitigación basado en el retraso de la velocidad de arranque de los aerogeneradores hasta los 6 m/s en ese período que reduciría la siniestralidad de quirópteros observada en torno al 46-54%. Además, es urgente por el Gobierno de Aragón revisar el protocolo de seguimiento de parques eólicos en lo referente a su duración, frecuencia de visitas y errores mencionados anteriormente, así como las Declaraciones de Impacto Ambiental. Los promotores y sus consultoras deben demostrar con análisis robustos las conclusiones de sus trabajos en vez de limitarse a trabajos descriptivos. Los parques también afectaron a las aves, especialmente rapaces como el buitre leonado Gyps fulvus o el cernícalo primilla Falco naumanni, los aláudidos e incluso grullas (Grus grus). En estas especies, las colisiones se asociaron a aspectos concretos de la ecología de estas especies como la presencia de carroña, el hábitat de cultivo o la presencia en época de migración e invernada.

Supplementary material:

The distribution of Kerivoula malpasi and Kerivoula picta (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in Sri Lanka

Gayan Edirisinghe, A.P. Malsha J. Bandara, Bruce D. Patterson, Ranil P. Nanayakkara, Duminda Dissanayake, Sameera Akmeemana, Amila Sumanapala, Dinesh Gabadage, Madhava Botejue

Abstract: Sri Lanka is considered one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Although Sri Lanka has a rich diversity of bats, Kerivoula malpasi is the only bat that is endemic to Sri Lanka, where it is represented by only five records. The other known species of Kerivoula in Sri Lanka, Kerivoula picta, is more widely distributed. This study maps the current and historical distributions of the two species. Field observations made from 2016 to 2020 are presented, including 41 new locations for K. picta, which add the northernmost and easternmost records for the species in Sri Lanka. Details from museum specimens of both species are also presented in order to aid future investigations and promote the conservation of these species in the country.

Supplementary material:

Breeding and Post-Breeding Behavior of the Ghost Bat (Macroderma gigas) at Perth Zoo

Aundrea Bakker, Bethany Jackson, Emily Polla

Abstract: Understanding the behavior of wildlife in zoo environments is necessary to determine species’ welfare states and minimize stress whilst optimizing social groupings, particularly where breeding programs are being undertaken. This observational study investigated the behavior and welfare of six groupings of ghost bats (Macroderma gigas) across the breeding and post-breeding seasons within Perth Zoo, Western Australia. Scan sampling was used to record behavioral states and interactions along with spatial preferences within enclosures for 198 hours of observations. A total of 11,895 interval observations were conducted during the study period. Exploratory behavior was correlated with enclosure size, with 18.7% of the total observations in the largest enclosure compared with only 7.1% of them in the smallest enclosure. Male ghost bats engaged in negative behaviors in 40.2% of observed male-male interactions, regardless of the season. Non-breeding females engaged in more female-female negative behaviors during the breeding season, while negative behaviors increased in the breeding female group after the end of the breeding season. This study highlights areas where management practice may be optimized in a zoo setting and provides evidence to consider revising standards of enclosure size for chiropteran species. An increase in heating structures and feeding platforms could also reduce the number of negative interactions between individuals. Given that ghost bats in the wild are listed as Vulnerable, zoo population management and breeding may form an integral part of conservation planning for this species in the near future. As the first published study of zoo-housed ghost bats, these findings help provide insight into the behaviors and interactions of ghost bats in different social groupings across the breeding and post-breeding seasons..

Neue Ausgabe vom Journal of Bat Research and Conservation 15 (1) 2022 erschienen