Emergence and flight routes of the lesser horseshoe bats Rhinolophus hipposideros (Bechstein, 1800) from a church at Ljubljansko barje, central Slovenia

Authors

  • Veronika Ramovš Resljeva 11, SI-1000 Ljubljana
  • Simon Zidar Pot heroja Trtnika 14a, SI-1261 Ljubljana-Dobrunje
  • Maja Zagmajster University of Ljubljana, Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, Večna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14720/ns.12.2.35-53

Keywords:

Rhinolophus hipposideros, emergence, flight routes, Vnanje Gorice, Ljubljansko barje, Slovenia

Abstract

The flight routes from roosts to feeding habitats are important for efficient conservation of bats, but in Slovenia they are poorly known. Emergence and flight routes of the lesser horseshoe bats Rhinolophus hipposideros from the Church of Sveti Duh at Vnanje Gorice, Ljubljansko barje, were monitored on ten different days in August and September 2009. In the beginning of August, 72 lesser horseshoe bats were counted in the attic; the number decreased to 29 in the beginning of September. Individuals of three other bat species were also found in the attic and belfry: the greater mouse eared bats Myotis myotis, serotine bats Eptesicus serotinus and a group of alpine long-eared bats Plecotus macrobullaris. The lesser horseshoe bats emerged only from a single opening in the attic. The first bat flew out on average 16 minutes after the sunset, while the first bat amongst those that did not return to the roost left on average 20 minutes after sunset. The lesser horseshoe bats flew few metres above the ground into the nearby forest Gulč on the northwestern side of the church. We observed flying bats at nine locations in this forest and at three locations on the forest edge, where they probably foraged. Bats flew along a lit road next to houses, close to a major road they had to cross, and next to a railway southwest from the church. The spatial and temporal distribution of observations indicated the flight towards the mixed forest Plešivica, where a lesser horseshoe bat was observed app. 1.7 km bee-line distance SW from the church at Vnanje Gorice. Considering that bats generally follow linear elements in the landscape, and on the basis of our observations at 21 locations and flight behaviour we envisaged the most likely course of their flight route. These data are important for efficient conservation of the lesser horseshoe bats roosting at Vnanje Gorice and maintenance of important landscape elements in the surrounding landscape.

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Published

30.12.2010

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Scientific paper

How to Cite

Ramovš, V., Zidar, S., & Zagmajster, M. (2010). Emergence and flight routes of the lesser horseshoe bats Rhinolophus hipposideros (Bechstein, 1800) from a church at Ljubljansko barje, central Slovenia. Natura Sloveniae, 12(2), 35-53. https://doi.org/10.14720/ns.12.2.35-53

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