Bats are affected by a variety of anthropogenic pressures, and effective conservation measures require a complex approach by not only covering the roosts themselves but also the surrounding habitats and migration corridors. The development of concrete localized conservation measures requires detailed quantitative data to assess habitat status regarding the most crucial factors for concrete species. This chapter aims, by modeling using a Maxent based on many georeferenced locations and the state of ecologically relevant ecogeographic variables, to reveal the spatial trends in the habitat suitability of 29 bat species; to obtain meaningful biogeographical species groups; and to provide a countrywide quantitative assessment of bat richness, rarity, and vulnerability. The modeling results showed that altitude, karstic areas (presence of caves), topographic wetness index, and presence of deciduous forests were the most influential factors. In this respect, three well-defined groups were delineated. The species’ richest areas were mostly located in semimountain karstic areas with a well-developed broadleaved forests, and the lowest in xerophilous, bare habitats, especially those of anthropogenic origin. Regarding rarity, more rare species were associated with caves and mountains. Vulnerability (in terms of IUCN criteria) was positively affected by the presence of caves showing the importance of protecting karstic areas.
Part of the book: Bats