Rhinolophus mehelyi (Matschie 1901) Mehely’s Horseshoe Bat
Hebrew name: פרסף חיוור, parsaf hiver
Global Threat: VU (A2c) – Vulnerable
Regional Threat: RE – Regionally Extinct
Historic distribution: It is difficult to distinguish between the different medium-sized species in horseshoe bats, so that there is doubt about past data relating to the Mediterranean horseshoe bat, Blasius’ horseshoe bat and Mehely’s horseshoe bat. Mehely’s horseshoe bat was only described from Israel in 1972 (DeBlase 1972) based on preserved specimens in the British Museum, including one from Herzliyya (12.4.1951), one from Ramleh and three from “Solomon’s Stables” in Jerusalem (22.1.1922). In the 1970s bat survey this species was not found (Makin 1977).
Typical Habitat: Caves in the Mediterranean region.
Major Extinction Factors:
1. From the 1960s until the mid-80s in the Mediterranean region: poisoning by activity to eliminate fruit bats in shared caves.
2. Disturbance by human visitors to roosting and wintering caves.
3. Insecticide use in agricultural areas.
Period during which Species Became Extinct: Apparently in the 1950s and 1960s.
Species Rehabilitation Possibility: No possibility.