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Roost selection by noctules (Nyctalus noctula) and Daubenton's bats (Myotis daubentonii)

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Abstract

Roost selection by tree roosting noctules Nyctalus noctula and Daubenton's bats Myotis daubentonii was determined by comparing roost characteristics with the characteristics of randomly chosen tree cavities in the area. The following parameters were determined for 81 noctule roosts and 27 Daubenton's bat roosts: tree species, type of cavity (woodpecker or natural), entrance height, compass direction of entrance and distance to the edge of the wood. Roost choice of both bat species was similar except that Daubenton's bats used woodpecker cavities less than noctules. Both bat species were selective in their roost choice. Daubenton's bats preferred oaks over beeches, and noctules preferred woodpecker cavities over natural cavities, indicating dependence on woodpeckers. Both bat species preferred to roost close to the edge of the wood. Roosting close to the edge of the wood may reduce commuting flight costs for both species or may be preferable for thermoregulatory reasons.

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Ancillary