Editor-in-Chief: Denys, Christiane
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Radiotracking of Myotis myotis (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) in South Tyrol and implications for its conservation
In Central Europe, greater mouse eared bats (Myotis myotis, Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) are simultaneously reliant on man (for maternity roosts) and adversely affected by him (e.g. landscape destruction). This is a common situation for most of the Central-European bat species. In South Tyrol, however, large maternity colonies of mouse eared bats are often situated amidst zones of intensive apple growing and they usually thrive. A radiotracking study conducted in July 2000 and 2001 shows strong foraging activity in the valley bottom and nearby slopes. The elongation of the home range was 15 km, core areas ranged from 2 to 6 km away from the nursery. The greater mouse eared bats mainly used intensively cultivated orchards and deciduous shrub forests. Mature forests, meadows and pastures were scarcely used. Unfortunately intensification in apple growing; eliminating high trees and covering orchards with hail nets, is an ongoing process. To preserve greater mouse eared bats it is necessary for them to continue using the orchards in the future. So it seems necessary to convince farmers that bats in the orchards are beneficial.
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