The spatial ecology of the whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus) at the western extreme of its range provides evidence of regional adaptation

Daniel J. Buckley, Mathieu G. Lundy, Emma Boston, David D. Scott, Yann Gager, Paulo Prodöhl, Ferdia Marnell, W. Ian Montgomery, Emma C. Teeling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although widespread, the ecology of the whiskered bat, Myotis mystacinus in Europe remains poorly understood. Ireland is positioned at the most western extreme of this species' range. To ascertain the ecology of M. mystacinus at its geographic range extreme, the roosting behaviour, home range and habitat use of females in a maternity roost in Ireland was investigated by radio-tracking. M. mystacinus were active in a diversity of habitats: namely, mixed woodland, riparian vegetation, arable land and rough grassland. However, only mixed woodland and riparian habitats were selected as core foraging areas. This is in contrast to a previous study from Britain where only pasture was utilised but is in agreement with data from Slovakia, where woodland was also selected, whilst riparian areas were also utilised by this species in Germany. A high degree of overlap in the foraging areas of individuals was observed. A total of seven roosts were utilised by tracked bats and roost switching behaviour was observed. We discuss our contrasting results in respect to range limitations, regional variability in landscape structure and the composition of bat communities. The present results have implications for the conservation of M. mystacinus within Ireland and other parts of its range, highlighting the need for range wide ecological studies. Regional variability in the ecology of bats related to landscape factors is an important consideration for bat conservation and therefore must be incorporated into future management plans. (C) 2012 Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Saugetierkunde. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-204
JournalMammalian Biology
Issue number3
Early online date23 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Myotis mystacinus
  • Conservation
  • Riparian
  • Roosting ecology
  • Habitat use
  • Ecological adaptation

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