The greater horseshoe bat occurs in the temperate region of the Palearctic, ranging from the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco to Japan. It roosts mainly in caves and mines but also in buildings during the breeding and nursing period. It is widespread and relatively common in Cyprus, but only two colonies exceed 25 individuals. It’s roosting and feeding ecology in Cyprus is possibly different from those of the mainland, due to the peculiarities of the Mediterranean islands’ climate and landscape.
Although the species is widespread and abundant worldwide, serious declines of its populations have been reported from several European countries. It is threatened by the destruction of the mines and caves used by the Rousettus aegyptiacus which is probably threatening this species, although they can rarely be found together in the same site. Additional threats are the nuisance caused by visitors, the collapse of mines and buildings used as roosts by the species, as well as the use of agrochemicals in cultivated areas and wetlands and fragmentation of its habitats.
Priorities for the species are:
1. Systematic monitoring of the species’ colonies.
2. Identification of critical feeding areas.
3. Restoration and protection of the species’ refuges.
4. Restrictions in the use of insecticides.
5. Public awareness.
Last Modified at: 11/12/2015 12:11:52 PM