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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The long-fingered bat is an insectivorous species, typically feeding on insects with aquatic larvae such as Diptera and Trichoptera, although some recent evidence suggests that it may feed opportunistically on fish (6) (7). Individuals emit short steep broadband echolocation calls, as is typical of other Myotis species, sweeping from frequencies of 90 kHz down to 35 kHz on average. The species typically forms colonies from several tens up to several thousand individuals, usually mixed with other cave species, most commonly Miniopterus schreibersii, but also Rhinolophus euryale, R. mehelyi, R. ferrumequinum, Myotis emarginatus, M. myotis and M. blythii, but individuals can occasionally be found roosting singly on cave walls. Very few males are present in maternity colonies, which form in summer, but mixed-sex colonies exist throughout the rest of the year. Because the species is closely associated with water, it preferably roosts near water surfaces, if such locations are available. Mating starts in August and may continue throughout the winter and possibly early spring. Bats give birth to a single pup between April and May, after a gestation period of between six to eight weeks. They are among the first European species to give birth following winter. The pup is weaned after a period of approximately four to six weeks.
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Description

The long-fingered bat is a medium-sized bat and one of three 'trawling' European bat species, the other two being the Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii) and pond bat (Myotis dasycneme)(3). 'Trawling' bats have very big feet in relation to their body size and feed by 'scooping' their prey from water surfaces with their feet and the help of their tail membrane. The long-fingered bat has immense feet compared to the other two trawling species, hence its common name, and its toes have characteristic long bristles. Typical of Myotis species, this bat has an elongated muzzle. The tragus is long and narrow reaching half the length of its ear and has a pointed tip. The fur on the bat's back is brownish-grey and is darker than that on the stomach, which is greyish white. Juveniles are characterized by relatively smaller size, lighter weight, pigeon-grey colouration on the back and dark lower lip and chin, which usually becomes pinkish at the adult stage.
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Distribution

Range Description

Myotis capaccinii is sparsely distributed from eastern Iberia, Spain through the northern Mediterranean to coastal Asia Minor and Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, and also in Mesopotamia from Turkey to Iran and in north-west Africa (limited to the Mediterranean fringe of western Maghreb: north Morocco and northwest Algeria). It occurs from sea level to 900 m.
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Range

This species is restricted to the Mediterranean coast, its distribution ranging from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in northern Africa, and Spain as its western border in Europe, extending through to Asia Minor and the Middle East from Israel to Iran and Uzbekistan in the east, including islands such as Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Cyprus (1) (4) (5).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It forages over wetlands and waterways (including artifical waterbodies, such as canals and reservoirs), also scrub. It generally roosts in underground habitats (principally caves). In the Balkans it is confined to karst areas. Movements between summer and winter colonies are mostly within a distance of 50 km (maximum 140 km: Hutterer et al. 2005).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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The long-fingered bat feeds over the water surface of lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. It is an obligate cave-dweller, preferring warm underground sites (natural and artificial caves such as mines) in summer and cool sites in winter, using transient sites over the seasons in-between.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Myotis capaccinii

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Myotis capaccinii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A4bce

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Hutson, A.M., Spitzenberger, F., Aulagnier, S., Juste, J., Karataş, A., Palmeirim, J. & Paunović, M.

Reviewer/s
Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
The species occupies specialised habitat (caves and associated water systems). In the eastern part of the range it congregates in winter in a few sites which are threatened by human disturbance. It has declined between 30 and 50% in Spain in the last 10 years, and there are indications of declines in other parts of the range. It only hunts in watercourses and is therefore threatened by water pollution and the development of tourist infrastructure, which is expected to continue in the future. It is suspected that population declines are underway that will exceed 30% over 18 years (3 generations), and for that reason the species is considered Vulnerable under criterion A4bce.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Vulnerable
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1).
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Population

Population
Locally it can be abundant. Generally, the population is fragmented, but these "fragments" may constitute robust parts of the overall population. Declines have been reported in many range states. In Spain, the population has declined by 30-50% in the last 10 years to fewer than 10,000 individuals. Only 30 colonies are known that comprise more than 20 individuals (Palomo and Gisbert 2002). At least six important colonies are threatened by the construction of buildings nearby and five colonies have disappeared over the last 10 years. In France the population has declined to very low numbers (an estimated 3,800 individuals). Colonies have been lost in the western part of the range in the last 15 years (S. Aulagnier pers. comm. 2006). Colonies in central Romania known from the 1960s have disappeared, and the species is now restricted to the south. The species is almost absent in winter and probably hibernates in Bulgaria (Z. Nagy pers. comm. 2006). The Bulgarian population is estimated at c.20,000. In Croatia there are still some large colonies but these are threatened by pollution of karstic water bodies (F. Spitzenberger pers. comm. 2006), and the species is listed as Endangered in the Croatian Red Book of Mammals (Tvrtkovic 2006). In Turkey it has a decreasing population and is considered vulnerable; it is most often encountered in small groups, very occasionally up to several hundred individuals (A. Karatas pers. comm. 2005). The species is naturally rare in Iran (M. Sharifi pers. comm. 2005) and north Africa (S. Aulagnier pers. comm. 2006). The size of colonies is smaller in the western part of the range (several hundreds of individuals in summer) than in the eastern part (up to several thousands in winter).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Threats include changes in water quality through pollution and dam building, and loss of water bodies and watercourses. Damage or disturbance to caves (tourism, fires and vandalism) used as roosts may also be a problem, as the species is very dependent on caves. The species is collected for medicinal purposes in North Africa.
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The exploitation of caves as tourist attractions is a major threat to this species, which is an obligate cave-dweller. The bat's restricted distribution to the Mediterranean coast of Europe implies very specific ecological requirements. Not all available underground sites are suitable for roosting. The distribution and abundance of suitable sites for roosting, and the loss thereof, may have a significant effect on the distribution and size of this species' populations. Degradation and loss of suitable water habitat (e.g. pollution of rivers and lakes) is also a threat to the species, by affecting insect populations on which the bat feeds.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is protected by national legislation in most range states. There are also international legal obligations for its protection through the Bonn Convention (Eurobats) and Bern Convention in the range states where these apply. It is included in Annex II (and (IV) of EU Habitats and Species Directive, and hence requires special measures for conservation including designation of Special Areas for Conservation. Some habitat protection through Natura 2000. In Spain, fences are in place to protect several known colonies. Measures needed include protection of colonies (these measures should avoid the blocking of any cave entrances with gates and control of tourist access) and improvement of water quality.
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Conservation

Scientific research into the complex ecological needs of this little-known bat is being conducted in Spain and France (8) (9) and has recently been conducted in Greece (10). This research will help identify priorities for the conservation of the species.
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Wikipedia

Long-fingered bat

The long-fingered bat (Myotis capaccinii) is a species of vesper bat. It is known from Morocco, Algeria, southern Europe and the Middle East as far east as western Iran.

Physical characteristics[edit]

The bat is medium sized for a vesper bat, with large feet and more prominent nostrils than other European Myotis species. Hair is dark grey at the base, with light smoky grey dorsal-side hair and light grey ventral-side hair.

Ecology[edit]

M. capaccinii lives in limestone areas, preferably wooded or shrubby terrain near flowing water. Summer and winter roosts are always in caves. They hunt insects, usually aquatic insects, and fish.[1]

Reproduction[edit]

Little is known about this species reproductive cycle. Nursery roosts are in caves, with up to 500 females in clusters on the cave roof. Birth occurs in mid to late June, with only one young born.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aihartza, J. R.; Goiti, U.; Almenar, D.; Garin, I. (2003). "Evidences of Piscivory byMyotis capaccinii(Bonaparte, 1837) in Southern Iberian Peninsula". Acta Chiropterologica 5 (2): 193. doi:10.3161/001.005.0204.  edit

Ostaizka Aizpurua, Joxerra Aihartza,Antton Alberdi, Hans J. Baagoe & Inazio Garin (2014). Fine-tuned ecoholocation and capture flight of Myotis capaccinii when facing different sized insects and fish prey. The Journal of Experimental Biology http://jeb.biologists.org/lookup/doi/10.1242/jeb.104992

Further reading[edit]


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Long-fingered Bat

The Long-Fingered Bat (Myotis capaccinii) is a species of vesper bat in the family Vespertilionidae. It is known from Morocco, Algeria, southern Europe and the Middle East as far east as western Iran.

Contents

Physical characteristics

The bat is medium sized for a member of the Vespertilionidae family, with large feet and more prominent nostrils than other European Myotis species. Hair is dark grey at the base, with light smokey grey dorsal-side hair and light grey ventral-side hair.

Habitat

M. capaccinii lives in limestone areas, preferably wooded or shrubby terrain near flowing water. Summer and winter roosts are always in caves.

Reproduction

Little is known about this species reproductive cycle. Nursery roosts are in caves, with up to 500 females in clusters on the cave roof. Birth occurs in mid to late June, with only one young born.

References

  • Schober, Wilfried; Eckard Grimmberger (1989). Dr. Robert E. Stebbings. ed (in English). A Guide to Bats of Britain and Europe (1st ed.). UK: Hamlyn Publishing Group. ISBN 0-600-56424-X.

Source


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