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Flight activity and habitat use of Pipistrellus pygmaeus in a floodplain forest
Seasonal and overnight changes in flight activity and habitat use of Pipistrellus pygmaeus were studied in the floodplain forest in south-eastern Moravia (Czech Republic) during the season 2001 using bat detectors. The night was divided into thirds; during each one bat activity was recorded in selected habitats, i.e. ecotones, water bodies, meadows inside the forest, forest paths and dense forest. The season was also divided into four parts with respect to the reproduction of bats, i.e., pregnancy, lactation, post-lactation and movement period.
The highest activity was recorded at the beginning of the night (1st third). During the 2nd third, flight activity was very low throughout the whole season. The level of activity increased after the parturition during the 3rd third. The seasonal course in activity showed a bimodal pattern along edges and inside the forest with the first peak in spring (May) and the second one at the end of summer (August). On the contrary, the level of foraging activity varied at water surfaces although it was permanently higher in comparison with activity in other habitats. Flight activity was well-balanced in the close forest and over forest paths and was much lower than over water. Very low activity was also registered over the meadows throughout the season.
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