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Habitat selection by the Mediterranean horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus euryale (Chiroptera : Rhinolophidae) in a rural area of southern Italy and implications for conservation

Biological Conservation

Abstract

We studied habitat selection by Rhinolophus euryale in a rural area of southern Italy in 1998-2000 by radio-tracking. Two comparisons were carried out, one between habitat occurrence within individual home ranges and and within the study area, the other between time spent in each foraging habitat and habitat occurrence within the home range. The first analysis showed that olive groves and conifer plantations were, respectively, the most and the least important habitats. The second analysis highlighted the importance of woodland for R. euryale, while urban sites, open areas and conifer plantations were avoided. We recommend that clearing of continuous, large areas of woodland for tree harvesting Should be avoided. Conifers should not be used for reforestation. Urbanisation should be limited in the areas of greatest importance for the species, and linear landscape elements such as tree lines and hedgerows should be maintained. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Russo, D; Jones, G; Migliozzi, A

Journal: Biological Conservation

Year: 2002

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