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Rhinolophus euryale

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA RHINOLOPHIDAE

Scientific Name: Rhinolophus euryale
Species Authority: Blasius, 1853
Common Name(s):
English Mediterranean Horseshoe Bat
French Rhinolophe Euryale
Spanish Murciélago Mediterráneo De Herradura

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hutson, A.M., Spitzenberger, F., Juste, J., Aulagnier, S., Alcaldé, J.T., Palmeirim, J., Paunovic, M. & Karataş, A.
Reviewer(s): Vié, J.-C. & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Many range states have reported that populations have declined and colonies have disappeared over the last 27 years (=3 generations). It is inferred that overall population decline has approached 30% over that period (although the population is now stable and or even increasing in some areas, e.g. France), so the species is assessed as Near Threatened (approaching A2c).
History:
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Rhinolophus euryale is a western Palaearctic species, occurring in southern Europe, north-west Africa (known range extends across northern Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), and the Near East. There is only a single record from Cyprus, but this is regarded by most authors to be R. mehelyi. It is widely distributed over its range, and is found from sea level to 1,000 m.
Countries:
Native:
Albania; Algeria; Andorra; Armenia (Armenia); Azerbaijan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; France (Corsica); Georgia; Gibraltar; Greece (East Aegean Is.); Holy See (Vatican City State); Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy (Sardegna, Sicilia); Jordan; Lebanon; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; San Marino; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey
Regionally extinct:
Switzerland
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: An infrequent species. Summer colonies number ca. 50-1,500 individuals (S. Aulagnier pers. comm. 2007). Winter clusters typically number up to 2,000 animals. It occurs in large vulnerable colonies, and is considered threatened in many range states. Large population declines have been reported in a number of European countries, including Spain (Palomo and Gisbert 2002). In France, the population declined by ca. 70% between 1940 and 1980, although subsequently the trend appears to have stabilised (Brosset et al. 1988, S. Aulagnier pers. comm. 2007). Apart from R. blasii, which may have gone extinct in the country, R. euryale is probably the rarest rhinolophid in Italy, and anecdotal evidence suggests that a number of colonies have declined in the past few decades (D. Russo pers. comm. 2006). The species has a very small and declining population in Portugal (Rodrigues et al. 2003, Cabral et al. 2005). It is stable and common in the central and eastern Balkans (M. Paunovic pers. comm. 2007).

There is little information on population trends outside Europe, although it is suspected that continuing declines have also occurred in at least parts of the non-European range. For example, in Iran the species is no longer found in caves which 30 years ago held 20,000 individuals of different species (M. Sharifi pers. comm. 2005).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It forages in Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean shrubland and woodland, feeding on moths and other insects. In Italy, preferred foraging habitats are broadleaved woodland and riparian vegetation; coniferous woodland is avoided, and shrubland is rarely used (Russo et al. 2002). Summer roosts are located in natural and artificial underground sites, as well as attics in some part of the range. In winter it hibernates in underground sites (usually large caves with a constant microclimate). It is a sedentary species (the longest recorded distance travelled by an individual is 134 km) (Heymer 1964 in Hutterer et al. 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats include loss of foraging habitat, and disturbance and loss of underground habitats. On a landscape scale, fragmentation and loss of linear elements such as hedgerows and riparian vegetation is a problem because such elements are used as landscape references for commuting. The species' strong dependence upon caves for roosting makes it particularly sensitive to cave disturbance, such as that from caving or tourism. Tourist disturbance of caves affects the species in a number of range states. The use of organochlorine pesticides is believed to have contributed to the earlier dramatic decline of the species in France (Brosset et al. 1988). In North Africa, threats include habitat loss due to agriculture (livestock) and human disturbance.

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, 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. There is some habitat protection through Natura 2000, and some roosts are already protected by national legislation). The species is directly or indirectly benefiting from EU LIFE-funded projects in France, Spain and Italy. No specific measures are in place in North Africa.

Citation: Hutson, A.M., Spitzenberger, F., Juste, J., Aulagnier, S., Alcaldé, J.T., Palmeirim, J., Paunovic, M. & Karataş, A. 2008. Rhinolophus euryale. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 August 2014.
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