Primera observación de murciélago bicolor (Vespertilio murinus) en la Península Ibérica al sur de los Pirineos

Sylvia Ortega, David Merino

Range expansion? First record of parti-coloured bat Vespertilio murinus Linnaeus, 1758) in Tuscany, Italy

Gianna Dondini, Simone Vergari

Abstract: Vespertilio murinus is a paleartic species. In Italy it is a rare species, apparently confined in the northern regions. During a survey on Tuscany bats, the authors have found an individual in the town of Prato. This finding significantly expands the Italian range of this species southward. A greater sampling effort and new records will be essential for determining the status of the parti-coloured male specimens in Italy.

Predation on bats by genets Genetta genetta (Linneaus, 1758): a review

Maria Mas, Adrià López-Baucells, Antoni Arrizabalaga

Abstract: Bats have partially evolved in response of predation pressure and have developed several strategies to cope with these threats. Nevertheless, the role played by many predators and their true impact on bat populations is poorly known and to date have only ever been considered superficially in studies. In this manuscript we review the role of genet as potential bat predator. We herein present an in-depth literature review of bats as prey of genets and also provide 4 new reports from scat analysis and 1 opportunistic event in a mist net placed next to a cave entrance. While the fact that only few reports of genet predation on bats have been detected seems to suggest that they only hunt bats occasionally, other repeated reports from South Portugal inside hibernating roosts (Palmeirim & Rodrigues 1991) and our new predation event next to a cave entrance suggests that genets could also repeatedly hunt bats in some caves (not as occasionally as usually considered).

Look what the cat dragged in: Felis silvestris catus as predators of insular bats and instance of predation on the endangered Pipistrellus maderensis

Ricardo Rocha

Abstract: This note reports the predation of a threatened Madeira pipistrelle bat by a domestic house cat. This represents the first confirmed record of cat predation upon a Macaronesian bat and adds to an increasing body of evidence suggesting that free-ranging cats pose a strong negative impact to native insular vertebrate populations.

The contribution of the Barn owl (Tyto alba) feeding ecology to confirm bat species occurrence in north Portugal

Hélia Marisa Vale-Gonçalves, Paulo Barros, Luís Braz, João Alexandre Cabral

Abstract: The Barn owl (Tyto alba) is an opportunistic species which feeds mainly on small mammals but also on birds, bats, reptiles, amphibians, insects and fishes. With regard to bats, several studies in Europe suggest that this group constitutes a small portion of the Barn owl diet representing less than 1% of its prey items. Through the analysis of 2,934 Barn owl pellets, collected between 2006 and 2014 in 27 sites/nests located in north Portugal, the remains of six bats belonging to five species were identified in a total of 9,103 prey items identified: the Western barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus), the Grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus), the Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), the European free-tailed bat (Tadarida teniotis) and the Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus). These findings are of great interest as they represent new data on the Brown long-eared bat and European free-tailed bat distributions, and allow to confirm an historical record of the Western barbastelle in the region.

Holocene bats (Mammalia, Chiroptera) from five caves of Central Apennines (Italy)

Leonardo Salari, Letizia Silvestri

Abstract: Sixteen taxa divided into three families (Rhinolophidae, Vespertilionidae and Miniopteridae) and seven genera (Rhinolophus, Myotis, Nyctalus, Plecotus, Barbastella, Miniopterus and Hypsugo vel Pipistrellus) have been recorded among the microvertebrate remains from five caves of the Central Apennines (Italy). Archaeological excavations were carried out in the caves Grotta Bella in Umbria, Grotta Continenza in Abruzzi, Grotta Mora Cavorso, Grotta Regina Margherita and Grotta di Pastena in Latium, over the last decades. The chronology of the sites spans from the early to middle Holocene (Mesolithic to the Bronze Age).Taphonomic observations suggest that the majority of the bat assemblages examined are autochthonous thanatocoenoses. The microclimate of the caves and the surrounding paleoenvironments can be reconstructed on the basis of ecological attributes of these taxa. The relative abundance of bat remains in the cave sediments testifies to the absence or the sporadic presence of humans in these sites during the corresponding time spans. The occurrence of Rhinolophus mehelyi in Central Italy during the early and middle Holocene adds new information on the geographical distribution of this species in the past.

First record of brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) for Sicily island (Italy)

Antonio Fulco, Ivy Di Salvo, Danilo Russo, Mario Lo Valvo

Science outreach in the time of social media: an analysis of the performance of the scientific journal Barbastella on Twitter and Facebook

Adrià López-Baucells, Luis Hernández-Tabernero, Ricardo Rocha

Abstract: Social media has deeply transformed the way people communicate ideas and information, shifting from traditional media forms (e.g. newspapers, television and magazines) to digital media; of which, Facebook and Twitter stand out in terms of disseminating academic information and conservation outreach. Broad scientific communication and outreach have been highlighted as one of the most efficient methods to tailor people’s behaviour towards environmentally-friendly practices. However, some concerns about the use of social media have been raised, particularly: the potential misinterpretation of inherently brief messages; the fast analysis of complex problems, situations or concepts; the fact that they can trigger misinformation cascades due to the time-sensitive and political nature of some conservation issues; an overestimation of potential outreach due to the homophilic effect; or the likelihood to suffer from information fatigue syndrome (IFS). We evaluated the presence of the scientific journal Barbastella – published by the Spanish Society for Bat Research and Conservation (SECEMU) – on Facebook and Twitter during a period of almost two years and its Twitter outreach performance during the Spanish Bat Research and Conservation Conference (SBRCC) in 2014.Since the launch of its Facebook and Twitter accounts, Barbastella has respectively gathered 1,935 and 931 followers. Several posts have potentially reached between 5,000-17,000 (Facebook) and 3,000-5,500 (Twitter) users and whereas the Facebook account presented an audience mostly composed by local researchers and bat enthusiasts from Spain and Portugal, the Twitter account had a much more international audience. During the SBRCC, there were more online (Twitter and Facebook) followers of the conference than in situ conference attendants, even though conference tweets were almost exclusively posted by the Journal committee. Our analyses reveal the large potential of Facebook and Twitter to disseminate information far beyond more classical tools and highlights that social media can potentially play an important role in conservation science, while serious consideration on its usage must be taken into account to reduce possible social media inherent weaknesses. Both social media platforms were found to be complementary suggesting that cross-posting on multiple networks can considerably improve visibility. In order to disseminate research without compromising time commitment towards other scientific tasks, it is essential to have a targeted strategy for using social media with an accurate and reasonable planning of online time commitment, addressing all public target time-zones, selecting the most appropriate platform, publishing understandable brief and visual posts with reliable information amongst other optimising strategies.