Bat diversity in two large towns of the Upper Thrace, Bulgaria (Chiroptera) [Diversita netopýrů ve dvou velkých městech Horní Thrakie, Bulharsko (Chiroptera)]
Ivan Pandourski, Dilian Georgiev, Slaveya Stoycheva, Elena Tilova
Bats of the Upper Thracian valley in southern Bulgaria were poorly studied, and the information on urban fauna in the Balkan Peninsula was scarce. Therefore, our study was aimed at the two largest towns of this region – Plovdiv and Stara Zagora. Nine bat species were newly recorded in Plovdiv (Myotis emarginatus, M. daubentonii, Plecotus spp., Nyctalus leisleri, Pipistrellus pygmaeus, P. nathusii, Hypsugo savii, Vespertilio murinus, Tadarida teniotis) and four in Stara Zagora (Myotis myotis/Myotis blythii, Myotis daubentonii, Nyctalus leisleri, Tadarida teniotis), respectively. Species diversity and habitat use were studied using a variety of methods (ultrasound detectors, mist netting and searching for roosts and dead individuals). Most of the species were found in areas between blocks of flats covered by tree vegetation and in dense park woods with low anthropogenic pressure. Most of the species roosted inside inhabitable buildings, a group of species was also found in crevices in the facade of these buildings and only one species (Nyctalus noctula) was found in tree hollows and in crevices in bridges. Habitat use was studied using a bat detector during the warm period of 2007. The most important habitats with the highest flight activity of bats were reservoirs with banks covered by dense park woods, a small river in a wooded area and a canal situated near a block of flats.