|Scientific Name:||Rhinolophus mehelyi|
|Species Authority:||Matschie, 1901|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Vulnerable A4c ver 3.1|
|Assessor/s:||Hutson, A.M., Spitzenberger, F., Juste, J., Aulagnier, S., Alcaldé, J.T., Palmeirim, J., Paunovic, M., Benda, P. & Karataş, A.|
|Reviewer/s:||Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)|
The species is declining throughout its range, which is becoming increasingly fragmented. The rate of decline has been estimated as 10% in the last 10 years in Andalucia (Spain). Elsewhere, declines have not been quantified but appear to have been considerable, with some colonies having been reduced to a fraction of their former size. Overall, declines throughout the global range are thought likely to exceed 30% over 3 generations (27 years) over a time window including both the past and the future. The species is going extinct in France and is declining in Morocco due to disturbance in caves. The species only roosts in caves and does not use artificial roosts. Hence the species is listed as Vulnerable.
Rhinolophus mehelyi is largely restricted to the Mediterranean. It has a discontinuous distribution from north Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt) and southern Europe (southern Portugal and Spain, possibly one occurrence in France, a few places in Italy and the Balkans) through Asia Minor, Anatolia, to Transcaucasia, Iran and Afghanistan (where its exact roost location is not known: Srinivasulu et al. in press).
It is patchily distributed in some large and vulnerable colonies. It occurs up to 2,000 m in High and Saharan Atlas mountains, although it is typically found at lower altitudes in other parts of its range (e.g. in Spain it tends to occur below 700 m).
Native:Afghanistan; Algeria; Armenia (Armenia); Azerbaijan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Cyprus; Egypt; Georgia; Gibraltar; Greece; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy (Sardegna, Sicilia); Jordan; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Morocco; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovenia; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||An infrequent species, which is reported to have declined in all parts of its range for which data are available. In Andalucia (Spain), the rate of decline has been estimated at 10% over the last ten years. The species is close to extinction in France (Rodrigues and Palmeirim 1999), Romania (Botnariuc and Tatole 2005), and north-east Spain (J. Juste and T. Alcalde pers. comm. 2006). In France, only one individual was recorded in 2004 (S. Aulagnier pers. comm. 2006), and in Romania the population was estimated at 5,000 in the 1950s, but now numbers approximately 100 (Dumitrescu et al. 1962-1963, Botnariuc and Tatole 2005). It is also declining in southern Spain (Franco and Rodrigues 2001), Portugal (Rodrigues et al. 2003), the Russian Federation (K. Tsytsulina pers. comm. 2005), Georgia, and Morocco (SW Asia Workshop 2005). In Iran mixed-species colonies including R. mehelyi, which in the 1970s were estimated to be over 10,000 individuals, now only number a few hundred individuals (M. Sharifi pers. obs. 2005). Summer nursery colonies typically number 30-500 individuals (although colonies of up to 3,000 individuals have been recorded, separated in smaller groups within the same cave). Winter clusters consist of up to 5,000 animals.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||Forages in Mediterranean shrubland and woodland, and in dry steppes. It feeds mainly on moths, but also preys on other insects. Summer roosts are in warm caves, often in karstic regions. Winter hibernacula are in colder underground sites (usually large caves with a constant microclimate). The species only roosts mainly in caves and does not use artificial habitats (but there is a single report of animals using an abandoned building in Bulgaria (Benda et al. 2003)). Sedentary (longest distance recorded 90 km: Palmeirim and Rodrigues 1992).|
|Major Threat(s):||The species is affected by disturbance and loss of underground habitats, changes in foraging habitats, and destruction of caves by tourism. Mortality due to collision with cars is a problem in some areas (e.g., Portugal). The reasons for the declines are not fully understood.|
It is protected by national legislation in all European range states. There are also international legal obligations for its protection through the Bonn Convention (Eurobats) and Bern Convention where those 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 (some roosts are already protected by national legislation). An EU-LIFE funded project aims to ensure the long-term conservation of the large populations of cave and forest-dwelling bats, including this species, in Spain. There are no specific conservation measures in place in North Africa.
Research is required on the causes of the declines across the range.
|Citation:||Hutson, A.M., Spitzenberger, F., Juste, J., Aulagnier, S., Alcaldé, J.T., Palmeirim, J., Paunovic, M., Benda, P. & Karataş, A. 2008. Rhinolophus mehelyi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 May 2013.|
|Feedback:||If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please fill in the feedback form so that we can correct or extend the information provided|