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Group size and dispersal ploys: an analysis of commuting behaviour of the pond bat (Myotis dasycneme)

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Like most bat species, the pond bat (Myotis dasycneme (Boie, 1825)) lives in roosts more or less in the centre of their foraging habitat and are considered central-place foragers. Commuting routes, or flyways, between roosts and hunting areas have an essential ecological function for bats. We summarize the results of research performed on the commuting routes of pond bats between 2002 and 2009. We give, among others, a description on how bats disperse, how to recognize a commuting route, and details about the effort needed to make a complete survey of one commuting route. Furthermore, we make a relation between number of animals on the route and size of their respective roost. The results suggest pond bats are not completely reliant on waterways for reaching their foraging habitat; they use directional dispersal, following commuting routes over waterways in combination with shortcuts over land. These results provide information that can be used to better understand how bats use their commuting routes. Also, the knowledge can be applied to survey work.

Keywords: Chiroptera; Myotis dasycneme; chiroptères; comptages de sorties; dispersal mechanism; déplacement; exit count; movement; murin des marins; mécanisme de dispersion; méthode d’enquête; pond bat; population size; survey method; taille de la population

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Ecosystem Studies, Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, NL-6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Publication date: 2014-01-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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