We studied the seasonal activity pattern of the Kuhl’s pipistrelle Pipistrellus kuhlii in eight sites of the Bou Hedma National Park, central Tunisia, from June 2010 to June 2011, using both mistnetting and acoustic bat detection. Pipistrelles were captured all year-round only at water bodies. Captures peaked in late spring and early autumn. Pregnant females were observed from March to June, lactating females only in June, and flying juveniles from June to August. Echolocation calls and buzzes were recorded in all sites throughout the year. However, activity varied significantly among months and sites. Activity peaked in June and September after a noteworthy decline in August; the minimum was recorded in December and January. Bats mainly foraged at water bodies and around streetlamps. This result supports the previously reported major role of water bodies for bats in arid environments. Bats also foraged in the open acacia forest in summer, during the flowering period of Acacia Acacia tortilis raddiana. The steppe was the least used habitat. Social calls were mainly recorded in autumn around streetlamps, suggesting a swarming behaviour. Despite being a common bat species in the area, P. kuhlii should deserve conservation efforts that would benefit other bat species.
European Journal of Wildlife Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 5, 2018
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