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Population changes in natterer’s bat Myotis nattereri and daubenton’s bat M. daubentonii in winter roosts of Central Poland.

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Numbers of wintering Natterer’s bats Myotis nattereri (Kuhl, 1817) and Daubenton’s bats M. daubentonii (Kuhl, 1817) were monitored at seven study sites (three single large hibernacula and four groups of roosts) in central Poland. The longest monitoring period was 1987–2009, the shortest - 1999–2009. The aim of the study was to find out if the numbers of the two species are stable, or if any trends could be detected. For most of the study period, bats were counted twice during each hibernation season: in autumn (November/December) and in winter (January/February). The numbers of Natterer’s bats show a strong increase all over the study area – a trend similar to that reported earlier from other parts of the country. Daubenton’s bats, on the other hand, declined in the hibernacula located in the north-eastern part of the study area, while in those located in the south-western part their numbers were stable or even slightly increased. A decrease in the numbers of Daubenton’s bats is in contrast with reports from other hibernacula in Poland and elsewhere in Europe, where the species increases in numbers. The changes in the numbers of both studied species could be explained by neither changes in the hibernacula nor weather conditions during the study period, so our results probably reflect changes in the numbers of local populations.
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