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Cellars as hibernation sites for bats


Cellars as hibernation sites for bats



Fauna och Flora Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet 84(2): 49-53



Eighty cellars on the countryside in the south Swedish province of Vastergotland were investigated for presence of hibernating bats in winter (December-January). Thirty-nine of the 62 (63%) cellars that were still intact, but only two out of 18 (11%) more or less generated ones, contained bats. The frequency of bat occurrence varied across different types of cellars, and was highest in those with a lot of crevices available inside. Normal use of the cellars (storage of potatoes and vegetables) did not seem to influence the presence or absence of bats in total 61 brown long-eared bats, Plecotus auritus, 40 northern bats, Eptesicus nilssoni, and two Daubenton's bats, Myotis daubentoni, were ofund. Twenty-two northern bats, that were captured for determination of age and sex, occurred as singletons (usually makes) or in groups of 2-5 bats (females). Eleven females were adults and four were immatures. It was concluded that a significant proportion of Sweden's commonest bat species use cellars in winter. Cellars provide suitable conditions as long as they are maintained in the tradioional way, but become useless if they are allowed to degenerate.

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