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Plecotus austriacus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA VESPERTILIONIDAE

Scientific Name: Plecotus austriacus
Species Authority: (Fischer, 1829)
Common Name(s):
English Gray Big-eared Bat, Grey Long-eared Bat
French Oreillard Gris
Spanish Orejudo Gris
Taxonomic Notes: According to new taxonomy it is endemic to Europe (Spitzenberger et al. 2006). The Asian and African populations belong to other species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Juste, J., Karataş, A., Palmeirim, J., Paunović, M., Spitzenberger, F. & Hutson, A.M.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species has a large range, within which it is widespread and generally common. Although there is evidence of population decline in parts of the range, the overall rate of decline is not believed to approach the threshold for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, it is evaluated as Least Concern. However, population trends should be monitored.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Plecotus austriacus is restricted to Europe, excluding northern countries. Widespread south of 52-53°N, from south England to Moldova and the Black Sea Coast southwards to the Mediterranean coast (Spitzenberger et al. 2006). One record in south Sweden. Found on Mediterranean and Atlantic islands: Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily and Madeira (Spitzenberger et al. 2006). Highest confirmed record in the Alps 1,390 m (hibernaculum) (Spitzenberger 2002).
Countries:
Native:
Albania; Andorra; Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; France (Corsica); Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Hungary; Italy (Sardegna, Sicilia); Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Monaco; Montenegro; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal (Madeira); Romania; San Marino; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Baleares); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a common species in the Mediterranean, but relatively rare in the European part of Turkey (A. Karatas pers. comm. 2007). Summer colonies usually consist of 10-30 females. Winter clusters are usually small (2-3 animals), and the species is often solitary in this season. Population declines have been documented in parts of central Europe (Horácek et al. 2004); in Austria this species is listed as Vulnerable (Spitzenberger 2005) and in Croatia it is listed as Endangered (Tvrtkovic 2006). In Portugal there is no evidence of decline. Elsewhere in the range data on population trend is lacking.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It forages in lowland valleys and open agricultural landscapes in central Europe, and in a great variety of open and semi-open habitats in southern Europe. It feeds mainly on moths. In summer it typically roosts in buildings (attics, fissures, cavities, old castles), although solitary animals may roost in underground sites. In winter it hibernates in buildings, mines, and caves. It is a sedentary species, and no individual has been recorded to move further than 62 km (Gaisler and Hanák 1969 in Hutterer et al. 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Some populations are affected by remedial timber treatment (poisoning by wood preserving chemicals) and loss of roost sites. Intensification of agriculture seems to have a negative impact on the species in central Europe, and may be responsible for population declines reported in this region. Agricultural intensification may also affect the species in other parts of the range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is protected by national legislation in most range states. There are also international legal obligations for protection of this species through the Bonn Convention (Eurobats) and Bern Convention. It is included in Annex IV of EU Habitats and Species Directive, and there is some habitat protection through Natura 2000. Recommended actions include monitoring population trends, and improving agricultural habitats by protecting and restoring hedges and scrubby areas and reducing pesticide use.

Citation: Juste, J., Karataş, A., Palmeirim, J., Paunović, M., Spitzenberger, F. & Hutson, A.M. 2008. Plecotus austriacus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 July 2014.
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