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Egyptian Slit-Faced Bat

Nycteris thebaica (E. Geoffroy 1818) Egyptian Slit-Faced Bat
Hebrew name: לילן, leilan

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Nycteridae

Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: EN (B,C) – Endangered

Distribution area: Along the Syrian-African Rift Valley. Only one breeding colony is known today.

Historic distribution: Aharoni (1944) found one Egyptian slit-faced bat in the Bet She’an Valley (in Makin 1977). In the 1970s Makin (1977) found Egyptian slit-faced bats along the Syrian-African Rift Valley from Timna in the south to the Kinneret area in the north, as well as in the Jezreel Valley (Merhavya). A few to several dozen individuals were found at each site.

Typical Habitat: Narrow, damp caves (in burial caves too). Forages by capturing insects in low flight over vegetation and water (feeds mainly on Lepidoptera, Feldman 1998).

Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Insecticide use in agricultural areas.
2. Human visitors to roosting, breeding and wintering caves.

Population Size: The population comprises only several hundred individuals. The species’ distribution area in Israel extends over circa 4000 km2.

Fluctuations in Population Size: The species’ distribution  in Israel is the same as in the 1970s, with the exception of the Jezreel Valley. There are one or a few isolated individuals at each site. The only known breeding colony in Israel has 30 individuals.

Isolation between Subpopulations: Unknown.

Necessary Steps for Species Preservation: Strict protection of the cave with a breeding colony.