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Conservation of the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros Bechstein, 1800) (Mammalia : Chiroptera) in Belgium. A case study of feeding habitat requirements

Belgian Journal of Zoology

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the habitat use of the last important Belgian colony of Rhinolophus hipposideros, Bechstein, 1800, one of the most endangered bat species in Europe. During 71 evenings from April to August 1998, ultrasound detection was performed and, in late August, a female horseshoe bat was caught and fitted with a radio transmitter. The results showed that hedgerows and woodlands with bushes and coppice are key foraging habitats. They also highlight the importance of the presence of a network of wooded elements connecting the maternity roost with the foraging areas. To assure long-term protection of this colony, strong habitat conservation measures should be taken in a radius of up to 1-2 km around the roost.

Author(s): Motte, G; Libois, R

Journal: Belgian Journal of Zoology

Year: 2002

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