ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2007, Vol. 38, No. 5, pp. 334–340. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2007.
Original Russian Text © V.P. Snit’ko, 2007, published in Ekologiya, 2007, Vol. 38, No. 5, pp. 362–368.
The Southern Urals is inhabited by 13 species of
bats (Snit’ko, 2004), including seven resident species
belonging to the boreal group:
ling et Blasius, 1839), and
1758). It should be noted that, in this case, the terms
“resident” and “migrant” refer to the species whose
wintering sites lie in the study region and beyond its
boundaries, respectively. Studying the ecology of these
species, I have found that the accepted schemes of the
types of summer habitats (Strelkov and Il’in, 1990;
Il’in, 1999) provide no grounds for explaining habitat
preferences of bats or the dependence of their presence
in a habitat on certain factors, because they are based on
formal attribution of ﬁndings to natural zones. By com-
paring data on the sex and age structure of the bat fauna
in the spring–summer period of activity in different
areas, it can be noted that the observed sex ratios devi-
ate from the expected values. This deviation is also
impossible to explain on the basis of these schemes,
because they concern the geographic distribution of
species and, therefore, do not take into account sea-
sonal processes within populations. The purpose of this
work was to study summer habitats of resident bat spe-
cies and to identify factors governing an animal’s
choice of these habitats.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The material characterizing the bat fauna of the
Southern Urals was collected in the Il’men State Nature
Reserve (1997–2003) and during expeditions to Chely-
abinsk oblast and Bashkortostan (July–September
2002–2004) and surveys in 15 underground sites (caves
Shumikha, Kurgazak, Nadezhda, Sukhokamenskaya,
Ignat’evskaya, Alenushka, Laklinskaya, Eitash,
Kapova, Skazka, Sugomakskaya, and underground gal-
leries in the Bashkir Nature Reserve).
Bats were captured by conventional methods, with
mist nets and movable traps (Borisenko, 1999), as well
as by using an original method and special devices
described previously (Snit’ko, 2001a, 2003a). The cen-
sus of bats was taken visually and by recording acoustic
signals with bat detectors Magenta Electronic MK II
and Petersson Electronic D 240.
Bat species were identiﬁed using identiﬁcation keys
by Bobrinskii et al. (1944) and Il’in et al. (1999), and
animal age was estimated according to Strelkov (1999).
Animals aged less than six months, before the ﬁrst win-
tering, were classiﬁed as juveniles. More than 10000 bats
of 10 species were recorded during the censuses, more
than 2800 ind. were examined, and 1645 of them were
ringed. Recaptures of ringed bats (more than 150 ind.)
took place only in ringing sites.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Summer habitats of bats in the study region are char-
acterized by a diversity of environmental conditions
and types of shelters. The same species may occur in
different natural zones or intrazonal and anthropogenic
landscapes and roost in trees as well as in buildings or
caves. The types of habitats were determined taking
Seasonal Spatial Differentiation of Sex Groups in Populations
of Resident Bat Species (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae)
in the Southern Urals
V. P. Snit’ko
Il’men State Nature Reserve, Ural Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Miass, Chelyabinsk oblast, 456317 Russia
Received December 30, 2005
—On the basis of studies on the ecology of boreal bat species in the Southern Urals (1997–2004), the
ﬁrst classiﬁcation of their summer habitats has been made. It has been shown that spatial segregation of sex
groups into areas of two types, designated wintering and breeding zones, takes place in populations in the period
of offspring rearing. In females, seasonal migrations are guided by imprinting on sites providing sufﬁcient food
for offspring rearing and on wintering sites. In males, imprinting on wintering sites alone is observed.
: bats, summer habitats, wintering and breeding zones, the Southern Urals.