Myotis nattereri (Kuhl 1818) Natterer’s Bat
Hebrew name: נשפון דק אוזן, nishpon dak-ozen
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: EN (A4a,B,C) - Endangered
Distribution area: A few colonies in the Judean Mountains and in the lowlands (where it is the common Myotis bat), Samaria, Upper Galilee, Golan and Hermon. Became extinct in the Carmel in the 1980s. In Europe has been categorized VU (Stebbings 1988).
Historic distribution: Dor reported a breeding colony of hundreds in the Rosh Pinna area, colonies with dozens on the fringes of the Hula Valley, Tiv’on, Herzliyya and the outskirts of Jerusalem in the 1940s (in Makin 1977). Bodenheimer reported finding the species in the Galilee, Herzliyya and En Hemed in the 1950s (in Makin 1977). Harrison (1964) described colonies in the Carmel, Hartuv and En Hemed (in Makin 1977). Makin (1977) reported a breeding colony with many dozens of bats in Tiv’on and another with several dozen in Nahsholim in the 1970s, but at the same time only a few isolated individuals were found in a cave in the Carmel.
Typical Habitat: Damp caves and man-made caves. Forages on diverse prey in humid Mediterraniean woodland (Moskin 1993, Whitaker et al. 1994).
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Insecticide use in agricultural areas.
2. Human visitors to roosting and wintering caves.
Factors that led to population decline in the past:
1. In the 1940s and 1950s: bat collection by scientists.
2. From the 1960s to the mid-80s: poisoning by activity to eliminate fruit bats in shared caves.
Population Size: The species is now distributed over a 1500 km2 area in two sub-populations. In the lowlands only four caves are known, with a total of no more than 200 bats. In all of Israel there are less than 1000 individuals.
Fluctuations in Population Size: The population declined severely during the 1940s and 1950s, and continued waning during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The species became extinct in the Carmel during the 1980s.
Isolation between Subpopulations: Unknown.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation:
1. Reducing insecticide use.
2. Protect roosting and wintering caves.