Asellia tridens (E. Geoffroy 1813) Trident Leaf-Nosed Bat
Hebrew name: פרספון, pasafon
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: VU (B2b,C2b) – Vulnerable
Distribution area: In the Syrian-African Rift Valley, from Mt. Hermon to Eilat.
Historic distribution: Tristram (1884) described the trident leaf-nosed bat in the 19th century, from caves in the Dead Sea area. Mar (in Makin 1977) reported ca. 200 individuals in caves on the edges of the Hula Valley in the 1940s. Dor (in Makin 1977) reported colonies from Tel-Aviv-Jaffa and along the rift valley in the Dead Sea region and in Yotvata. In the 1970s Makin (1977) reported many thousands (up to 10,000) in buildings along the Yarmukh River and in a cave near Jericho. Isolated individuals were observed along the Syrian-African Rift Valley and in the Jezreel Valley. Owen & Qumsiyeh (1987) reported finding the species on the Jordan River Bridge and in Mehola in the 1980s.
Typical Habitat: The trident leaf-nosed bat lives in large colonies in warm caves, bunkers and abandoned buildings. It usually forages around dense vegetation (mainly beetles) and also feeds on the ground (Asaf Tsoar, pers. comm.).
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Insecticide use in agricultural areas.
2. Human visitors to roosting and wintering caves.
Population Size: The population in the five known large colonies totals a few thousand. At other sites only isolated individuals have been found.
Fluctuations in Population Size: In the past colonies were known from the Mediterranean region in Israel (Tel-Aviv), but at present all known colonies are in the Syrian-African Rift Valley, from Mt. Hermon to the south. The population has apparently decreased since all known colonies have at the most 1000 bats, compared to colonies with thousands of bats from the 1970s.
Isolation between Subpopulations: Unknown.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation: Protecting roosting and breeding sites, some in abandoned buildings and bunkers.