|Hibernacula of Myotis bats in artificial caves in the Leningrad Region|
Myotis bats were investigated from all known artificial caves of Leningrad Region. The bat’s wintering places (hibernaculi) studied during eight seasons from 2007 to 2015 within a long-term bat monitoring effort. The following mouse-eared bat species were found: Myotis dasycneme (Boie, 1825) — pond myotis, M. daubentonii (Kuhl, 1817) — Daubenton’s myotis, M. nattereri (Kuhl, 1817) — Natterer’s myotis, and species complex Myotis brandtii/mystacinus — Brandt’s/whiskered myotis. Massive hibernacula of the Natterer’s myotis, Brandt’s/whiskered myotis, and pond myotis was found within group of Staroladozhskije Caves; namely, Tanechkina Cave at present is a biggest known simultaneously wintering of Myotis bats. Hibernaculi and theirs vicinity microclimatic conditions were described with using instrumental measurements of the temperature and humidity. The specific preferences of the studied species were identified that connected with position of hibernating groups relative cave entrances and underground water capacity, specific micro-conditions of temperature and humidity ranging. As result, we have a preliminary assessment of the relationship between the size of the hibernacula and the well-being of the mouse-eared bat populations from territory of Leningrad Region. In addition, we attempted to assessment of a vulnerability of the some hibernating colonies, and, in general, populations of the several studied species.
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