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Habitat use, roost selection and conservation of bats in Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar

  • Amyot Kofoky
  • Daudet Andriafidison
  • Fanja Ratrimomanarivo
  • H. Julie Razafimanahaka
  • Daniel Rakotondravony
  • Paul A. Racey
  • Richard K. B. Jenkins
Original Paper

Abstract

Although the land mammals of Madagascar have been the subject of many studies, the island’s bats have yet to feature prominently on the research or conservation agenda. In this study we used mist nets, acoustic sampling and cave surveys to assess habitat use, seasonality and roost selection. Four microchiropteran species (Triaenops rufus, T. furculus, Miniopterus manavi and Myotis goudoti) appeared to be strongly associated with the forest interior based on trapping, but analysis of time-expanded echolocation recordings revealed that T. rufus and M. manavi were frequently recorded in forest edges and clearings. Bat activity was significantly lower inside the forest than at the interface between agricultural land and forest. The caves visited most often by tourists were low in bat abundance and species richness. Anjohikinakina Cave, which was visited infrequently by people, was used by five species and contained between 54% (winter) and 99% (summer) of bats counted in 16 caves and is a site of national importance for bat conservation. Hipposideros commersoni was only netted in our study area during October and may be a migrant to the site or present but inactive during the austral winter. The forest surrounding the caves is therefore important because it provides cover for emerging bats and a potential source of invertebrate prey whilst the forest edge is important to foraging bats.

Keywords

Acoustic sampling Caves Chiroptera Forest dependency Karst Roost 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amyot Kofoky
    • 1
  • Daudet Andriafidison
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fanja Ratrimomanarivo
    • 1
    • 5
  • H. Julie Razafimanahaka
    • 1
    • 3
  • Daniel Rakotondravony
    • 2
  • Paul A. Racey
    • 4
  • Richard K. B. Jenkins
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Madagasikara VoakajyAntananarivoMadagascar
  2. 2.Département de Biologie Animale, Faculté des SciencesUniversité d’AntananarivoAntananarivoMadagascar
  3. 3.Département des Eaux et Forêt, Ecole Supérieure des Sciences AgronomiquesUniversité d’AntananarivoAntananarivoMadagascar
  4. 4.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  5. 5.WWFAntananarivoMadagascar

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