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Preliminary investigation of roosting habitat preferences of the large forest bat Vespadelus darlingtoni

Preliminary investigation of roosting habitat preferences of the large forest bat Vespadelus darlingtoni

Pacific Conservation Biology 5(3): 208-213

This study reports the roosting habitat preferences of a large forest bat, Vespadelus darlingtoni, on the western slopes of the Australian Alps. V. darlingtoni selected older and larger trees for roosts and displayed a preference for older smooth-barked trees. The areas the bats covered for foraging and commuting between roost sites ranged from less than 10 ha to over 300 ha. These calculated home ranges were larger than previously recorded for the species, but probably smaller than the actual area used by the bats. The data reported in this study enable some of the roosting requirements of V. darlingtoni to be incorporated in the planning and establishment of forest reserve systems in southeastern Australia. For example, areas designated for logging should retain unlogged stands of older trees and refuges of at least 45 ha connected by corridors of native vegetation.

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