Plecotus sardus on Sardinia (Italy)

Print-friendly version

The project foresees an extensive bat survey on Sardinia in order to collect data on different aspects of ecology, biology and conservation of Plecotus sardus, an endemic endangered species (it was assessed as Vulnerable B2ab by IUCN in 2008).  Only 4 nurseries with an estimated population of less than 1.000 individuals had been known before.  Two new roost of this species were discovered using radio-tracking technique; one of these, a cave in the "Lago Omodeo” area,   is the first known hibernaculum for P. sardus. The first data on foraging habitats of the species was also obtained. Preliminary results on the analyses of DNA show that there are at least two mitochondrial haplogroups of P. sardus on Sardinia. This may be a result of ongoing separation of two populations, or caused by a historic split. Further molecular analyses are needed, including nuclear DNA’s data, to prove the occurrence of two separated populations. With these data the implementers are going to elaborate a conservation guideline for this highly endangered species. The project covers three years and will be continued in 2016.