Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Mammals

Common bent-wing bat (Miniopterus schreibersii)

Description

The Common bent-wing bat is a medium sized bat with exceptionally long fingers and correspondingly broad wings. It has a body length of 52 to 63 mm, a tail length of 50 to 60 mm, and a forearm length of 42 to 48 mm. Its coloring ranges from grey to yellowish brown. The second bone of the longest finger is about three times as long as the first bone and the tail is completely enclosed within the interfemoral membrane and is also proportionately longer than that of many similarly sized bats. The bat usually mates around Fall and has an average of 1 to 2 offspring.

Habitat

The bat has been found roosting in caves, rock clefts, culverts, caverns, and galleries. Studies of this species in India also showed that the population of a given area tends to be centered in one large cave but that individuals spent part of their time in secondary roosts within a 70 km radius.

Diet

The bat is insectivorous meaning it feeds on small beetles and other insects. The hunting and feeding usually occurs at heights of 10 to 20 meters. Similarly to many other bats hunting is mostly done through echolocation.

Protection Status

The bat is currently listed as "near threatened" on the IUCN Red List. This species is mainly endangered in western Europe but possibly throughout the world. The colonies made up of thousands of individuals have vanished. The bat is especially sensitive to disturbances if disturbances by human workers or tourists gets too close to a roost local eradication could occur. Destruction of habitat is a serious threat to these animals.

Interesting facts

The excrements of bats are often called guano (same as for seabirds). Guano may function as a highly effective fertilizer due to a high contents of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium making it highly sought after by organic farmers.

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