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A. Vlaschenko, V. Hukov, A. Naglov, A. Prylutska, K. Kravchenko and O. Rodenko

Abstract

The Brandt’s Bat (Myotis brandtii Eversmann, 1845) is one of the rarest bat species in Ukraine. There are only a few known locations of this species in summer and less known hibernacula in the whole country. Moreover, for territory of the north-eastern Ukraine are known only two underground bat hibernation sites with aggregation more than several tens of individuals. We undertook population surveys of winter aggregations in newly discovered and dug up abandoned sandstone mines in the Chuguev district of the Kharkiv Region (49°54′ N, 36°43′ E) from 2007 through 2015. We also surveyed summer bat assemblages in the forests surrounding these mines in 2012. The mines’ microclimate conditions were as follows: temperature +6 °C - +10 °C and humidity 60-80 %. M. brandtii, M. daubentonii (Kuhl, 1817) and Plecotus auritus (Linnaeus, 1758) hibernate in the mines; the first species is most abundant by number of individuals. In midsummer 9 bat species were recorded including the three previously mentioned. M. daubentonii and P. auritus breed in surrounding forest, but M. brandtii does not. One recaptured individual of M. brandtii was minimum 6 years old, providing us the first recorded information on longevity of this species for Ukraine. The total number of bats hibernating in these mines is estimated to be up to 100 individuals; a hibernaculum with several tens of M. brandtii could be classified as more numerous for this species in Ukraine. For this reason, the system of mines in the Kharkiv region needs species protection status and an action plan for monitoring and management.

Open access

A. Vlaschenko and A. Naglov

Abstract

Monitoring of bats in hibernacula is a key element for the estimation of long-term population trends in Northern hemisphere bats. However, there is currently limited winter bat monitoring data from Ukraine, making long-term population estimates diffi cult. We present data on bat population monitoring in the largest bat hibernacula in North-Eastern Ukraine (Liptsy mines). Between 1999-2010 we conducted 115 censuses inside the three mines and counted 1150 specimens of M. daubentonii, M. dasycneme and P. auritus. 385 individuals of the same species were captured by mist-nets (39 nights). Th e yearly average temperature in the Liptsy 1 mine is close to the mean of annual temperature in the Kharkiv Region (about +7 .C); the humidity ranged from 85-100 %. Th e mean number of bats counted in a visit ranged from 1.4 to 4.9 bats, and 28 in one case. Great fl uctuations in bat number were noted in Liptsy 1 and Liptsy 3-4 mines. Th ere were high bat numbers (up to one hundred individuals on average) in the winters 2000- 2001 and 2007-2008, and low bat number in winters 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. Th e species relative abundance for M. daubentoniiwas - 75-90 %, P. auritus - 7-20 %, M. dasycneme - 1-10 % respectively.