Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens
AG Säugetierkunde in NRW
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With a weight between 7 and 12 g and a forearm length of 29 to 47 mm, Bechstein′s Bat belongs to the medium-sized bats of Germany. Unique for this bat are the large ears, which when folded forward, clearly extend past the length of the snout. Contrary to the Long-eared Bats, the ears don′t touch at the base. The fur of their back is reddish-brown to brown from which the lightly beige or grey underside is clearly demarcated. Bechstein′s Bat is a typical bat of European mixed deciduous forests, which has its distributional centre in Central Europe. Although it commonly occurs in deciduous forests that are not far from the groundwater table with many wet areas, it can also occur in conifer-rich forests; they have also been recorded in meadow orchards. Bechstein′s Bats eat spiders, butterflies, earwigs, beetles, centipedes and mosquitoes, and a considerable part of the prey consists of flightless insects, which are gleaned from branches or from the ground. Woodpecker and rot cavities serve as nursery roosts, but bird and bat houses are also accepted. The mostly small nursery communities are usually around 10 females in size, but in rare cases, up to 80 females have been encountered. The individual communities are dependent on a rich selection of roosts. Bechstein′s Bats prefer to hibernate below ground and use caves, old mine shafts, cellars and old wells for hibernacula. Here the animals often sit in deep slits or crevices and thus evade being recorded during the hibernaculum controls. In autumn, some hibernacula attract animals from a great radius for the autumn mating. Meyer Well and Twickel Well in Coesfeld County, the Ofenkaulen mineshafts in the Seven Mountain area and the slate pit Hörre in Siegen-Wittgenstein County are all important mating- and winter roosts in NRW.
Nursery colonies of up to 51 females exist within NRW in the Westphalian and Cologne bay area, in Eastern Westphalia and in the Eifel.
In NRW, Bechstein′s Bat, which is strictly protected by the Federal Nature Protection Act, is considered severely threatened. Causes of threats are mostly the intensification of forestry management practices, which leads to structural impoverishment and decline of wet areas in the forest. Since Central Europe belongs to the core area of Bechstein′s Bat, Germany and thus NRW bears a high responsibility for the preservation of this severely threatened species. For this reason, Bechstein′s Bats should very much be considered in landscape-transforming management schemes.
Manuel Graf und Christina Backhaus
Graf M, Backhaus C (2021): Bechsteinfledermaus (Myotis bechsteinii).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2021/04/11
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