Article 1417

Title of the article



Smirnov Dmitriy Grigorievich, Doctor of biological sciences, professor, sub-department of zoology and ecology, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia),
Bezrukov Vadim Aleksandrovich, Postgraduate student, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia),
Il’in Vladimir Yurievich, Doctor of biological sciences, professor, sub-department of zoology and ecology, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia),

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Background. The territory of the Samarskaya Luka is known as the site of the largest winter concentrations of M. daubentonii in Russia, where annually up to 2,500 animals gather in various artificial dungeons. Spatial differentiation occurs between individuals of different sex at the end of hibernation. Most reproductive females leave the wintering area migrating to more distant areas. Males remain in the wintering areas, as well as a very small number of non-reproductive females. Nulliparous females do not waste energy on bearing, birth and feeding of the young, so the extent of their summer activity and the utilization of space and time should be as much as possible similar to those of males. The work purpose is to study the character of utilization of habitable space and forage time by M. daubentonii remaining in the area of wintering in the Samarskaya Luka conditions.
Materials and methods. The research was conducted in July 2016 in the north of the Samarskaya Luka (Samara region, Russia). We caught and attached radio transmitters to one adult nulliparous female and one adult male for the purpose of detecting animal shelters and analyzing the extent of their night activity and forage space utilization. As an aid, ultrasonic detection was used.
Results. The main summer shelters for males and nulliparous females in the Samarskaya Luka are hollows of deciduous trees. The evening flight begins in  0–60 minutes after sunset. Animals spend on average 53.2 ± 1.8 % of the total night time on night activity. The peak activity of the species is in the period from 22.30 to 23.30 (Moscow time). The Return to shelter takes place at 01.00 – 02.00, with the second departure before dawn unregistered. The sizes of the female’s habitat and the male’s one were 384.2 and 306.2 ha, respectively. There are five types of hunting spaces. Most of the night time the animals spend hunting in the above-water areas (70.2 and 83.9 % for the female and the male, respectively), where they mostly stay near the shore. However, there have been identified some differences in the nature of the use of habitats. The female spent more time than the male to feed over the river bed, under the canopy of the forest and over the streets of villages. The male fed much longer over the surface of the water in the immediate vicinity of the shore. There were no significant differences between the observed individuals only when hunting on forest edges. No intraspecific and interspecific aggressive contacts were noted during the observations.
Conclusions. In the conditions of the Samarskaya Luka, the nulliparous female and the male of M. daubentonii, remaining for the summer in the wintering areas have similar habitats and activity parameters. Most of the night time animals spend on hunting in the above-water areas of coastal zones. The female and the male have differences in the nature of habitat use, which can be explained by a decrease in competition for spatial and forage resources when a high density of animals is attained in individual feeding areas.

Key words

bats, Chiroptera, Myotis daubentonii, habitable ranges, utilization of habitats, radiotracking

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