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Sex-related differences in roost-site selection by Daubenton's bats Myotis daubentonii during the nursery period

: Encarnacao, J.A.; Kierdorf, U.; Holweg, D.; Jasnoch, U.; Wolters, V.


Mammal review 35 (2005), Nr.3-4, S.285-294
ISSN: 0305-1838
Fraunhofer IGD ()
geographic information systems (GIS)

1. We investigated sex-related differences in roost-site selection by Daubenton's bats Myotis daubentonii in their summer habitat in central Germany. We studied whether the location of and landscape structure around nine nursery roosts and seven male-only roosts differed during the nursery period (15 May-31 July). Roosts were located by radio-tracking, and animal numbers and group composition were obtained by trapping and counting at roosts. Landscape structure was evaluated by a GIS-based habitat analysis. 2. Marked variation in animal numbers was observed both in nursery roosts (range: 6-144 individuals) and male roosts (range: 1-51 individuals). The surroundings of nursery and male roosts varied significantly in the proportion of areas belonging to different landscape elements. The areas covered by ponds, lakes and rivers, as well as the area covered by coppices were larger in the surroundings of nursery roosts. Moreover, nursery roosts lay closer to a river and at lower altitudes than male roosts. Male Daubenton's bats used more distant foraging sites than gravid or lactating females. 3. The differences in roost-site location between the two sexes are suggestive of intraspecific competition for access to productive foraging areas in the surroundings of the summer roosts, with females being dominant over males. We assume that breeding females defend climatically favourable areas with good food supply in order to increase the survival of their offspring.