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Habitat around maternity roosts of the 55 kHz phonic type of pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)

Journal of Zoology

Abstract

We quantified the percentage cover of habitats and the extent of linear features within 2 km of 11 maternity roosts of the 55 kHz phonic type of pipistelles Pipistrellus pipistrellus in south-west England, and compared these with habitats around random points. The dominant habitats around both roosts and random points were improved grassland and built-up areas. There was significantly more water (especially water edge habitat with woodland or hedgerow on the banks), and continuous hedgerow with emergent trees, around roosts. Preference for freshwater habitats around roosts was shown in comparisons of single habitats, and in compositional analyses with and without the inclusion of urbanized random points. These habitats may be preferred by 55 kHz pipistrelles: riparian habitats support large numbers of flying insects of the types eaten by 55 kHz pipistrelles, and hedgerows may be important linear features used by bats. The conservation of continuous hedgerows and watercourses close to maternity roosts would appear to be very important for 55 kHz pipistrelles.

Author(s): Oakeley, SF; Jones, G

Journal: Journal of Zoology

Year: 1998

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