Lesser Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis blythii) in Slovakia: distributional status with notes on its biology and ecology (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) [Netopier ostrouchý (Myotis blythii) na Slovensku: rozšírenie s poznámkami k biológii a ekológii
Štefan Danko, Ján Obuch, Petr Benda, Marcel Uhrin
All available data on distribution of the lesser mouse-eared bat, Myotis blythii (Tomes, 1857) in Slovakia are summarised and some ecological notes are added. In total, more than 260 occurrence sites and almost 1,000 records (obtained by various survey methods, e.g. roost checks, nettings, winter census, analyses of owl pellets and osteological remains from caves) coming from the period 1924–2008 were included in the evaluation of distribution pattern. The species was recorded in 106 mapping squares making up 24.7% of the area of Slovakia. M. blythii was never evidenced in the northwestern (Kysuce region) and northeastern (Šariš region) parts of the country. Most of the records are concentrated to the karstic regions in the south of central Slovakia (Slovenský kras Mts., Muránska planina Mts., Slovenský raj Mts.) and to the mountains of eastern Slovakia (Slanské vrchy Mts.). In other parts of Slovakia, its distribution has a rather patchy character. While the breeding range has a northern margin at appr. 48° 50’ N (upper Hron river basin) and does not exceed the mountain range of the Nízke Tatry Mts., hibernacula were recorded northward up to appr. 49° 05’ N. The nursery colony in the Turčianska Štiavnička manor house (49° 05’ N) is reported here as the northernmost site of reproduction within the whole distribution area. Generally, the distribution range of M. blythii is well correlated with climatic regions and (at least for the breeding range) it could be described as the area with the maximum mean January temperature of –3 °C and the minimum mean July temperature of 16 °C. M. blythii in Slovakia reaches elevations of up to 1200 m, summer roosts occur at lower altitudes (81% are situated below 400 m a. s. l.) than hibernacula (91% in the altitude range of 200–1000 m a. s. l.). As revealed from netting data, the date of parturition in Slovakia is estimated at the end of May and/or the beginning of June. Most usually, the species creates mixed nursery colonies with its sibling, Myotis myotis; only four monospecific breeding colonies were evidenced in the country. Long-term population changes of the species were shown using the winter census data from artificial hibernacula in the Slanské vrchy Mts. (E Slovakia), however, we do not report any obvious trend in its population numbers.