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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 23, 2017

Bat fauna associated with artificial ponds in La Malinche National Park, a mountain ecosystem of Mexico

  • Jorge Ayala-Berdon , Rommy Vázquez-Fuerte , Nelly Rodríguez-Peña and Margarita Martínez Gómez EMAIL logo
From the journal Mammalia


An increase in water demand in mountains has reduced its availability for the fauna. As conservation tools, artificial ponds can be used to offer water to animals. Many studies have assessed the use of ponds by bats. However, most of them have been concentrated in the United States and Europe, while in regions with higher bat diversity the information is scarce. We captured the bat species associated with artificial ponds in a Mexican mountain where water was intubated 25 years ago. We identified and analyzed the bats’ species proportion and sex ratio and evaluated if species richness and abundance were affected by season, mean monthly precipitation, maximum monthly temperature and maximum monthly humidity. We captured 90 bats of seven species (Vespertilionidae), where Myotis melanorhinus Allen 1866 was the most abundant species (37.7%), followed by M. volans Allen 1866 (27.7%), Eptesicus fuscus Beauvois 1796 (22.2%), M. velifer Allen 1890 (5.5%), Corynorhinus mexicana Allen 1916 (3.3%), M. thysanodes Miller 1897 (2.2%) and Idionycteris phyllotis Allen 1916 (1.1%). Species richness and abundance were related to seasonality and maximum monthly temperature and humidity. Overall adult sex ratio was biased towards males. Our results are consistent with previous reports that have showed that artificial ponds play an important role for bats in environments where water availability is scarce.


This work was supported by posdoctoral scholarships granted to Dr. Jorge Ayala-Berdon and Dr. Nelly Rodríguez-Peña, provided by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT No. 290807 and 166442, respectively). We thank the program Por Amor al Planeta 2013, granted by the Volkswagen Company to MMG for financing the fieldwork, and La Malinche Biological station for logistical support. We thank Dr. René Beamonte for his assistance in the statistical analysis. Dr. René Beamonte, Dr. Martín Serrano, associate editor Dr. Stéphane Aulagnier and two anonymous reviewers improved the manuscript with their comments. We thank Karen Green for reviewing the language of the manuscript. We also thank Amando Bautista -the ponds’s creator-, Ivan Bravo for their maintenance, and Alejandro Soto and all the students, partially or fully involved in the development of this project.


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Supplemental Material:

The online version of this article (DOI: offers supplementary material.

Received: 2016-4-30
Accepted: 2016-11-8
Published Online: 2017-1-23
Published in Print: 2017-10-26

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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