Translocation as a conservation tool to supplement relict bat colonies: a pioneer study with endangered horseshoe bats

  • Published source details Weinberger I.C., Bontadina F. & Arlettaz R. (2009) Translocation as a conservation tool to supplement relict bat colonies: a pioneer study with endangered horseshoe bats. Endangered Species Research, 8, 41-48.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Translocate bats

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Translocate bats

    A study in 2006–2008 of four sites in alpine villages in Switzerland (Weinberger et al 2009) found that two of 11 greater horseshoe bats Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and none of seven lesser horseshoe bats Rhinolophus hipposideros remained at release sites in the long term after translocation, 10 bats homed after release and four died with three days of release. Two greater horseshoe bats (one male, one female) translocated 149 km settled in the release area and the female was regularly observed in a new roost in 2007 and 2008, but had an unsuccessful pregnancy in 2007. Two female lesser horseshoe bats remained at release sites 54–57 km away during 10 days of radio-tracking, but were not recorded beyond this period. Eight greater horseshoe bats and two lesser horseshoe bats homed after release at sites <20 km from their original roosts. One greater horseshoe bat and three lesser horseshoe bats died of shock or predation within three days of release. Male and female greater horseshoe bats (11) and lesser horseshoe bats (7) of three age classes (adult, 1–2 years and yearlings) were captured from large colonies and translocated to small relict colonies in similar habitats 11–149 km away in May–August 2006. Released bats were monitored with infrared video and radio-tracked for up to 10 days after release. Roosts at release sites were regularly checked in 2007 and 2008.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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