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Analysis of the distribution of insectivorous bats in Israel

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Data on localities from which insectivorous bats were collected or sighted in Israel were compiled into a Geographical Information System (GIS) in order to analyse patterns of species distribution. By intersecting precipitation and temperature data with spatially-referenced data on species observations stored in the GIS we determined the ‘climatic envelope’ of each species and constructed predictive maps which show the potential distribution of each species. Using cluster analysis, the bats were classified into three main biogeographic groups according to their distribution, namely desert, Mediterranean, and widespread in Israel. The potential distribution maps of all the species indicate that there are areas which have suitable bat habitats but from which bats have never been collected or observed. In the Mediterranean region of Israel, this is attributed to a large reduction in population size due to fumigation of caves, cave visitation and secondary poisoning.
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Keywords: Insectivorous bats; Israel; conservation; distribution

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel and Department of Evolution, Systematic and Ecology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.

Publication date: 1998-03-01

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