Dr. Amit Dolev, Israel Society for the Protection of Nature
 
 
Bats constitute the largest mammalian order in Israel, represented by 33

species and distributed in temperate, arid and tropical regions. Current information on

Israel's bat communities is based on sporadic past research throughout the 20th

century, and annual surveys in the north of Israel. These data were gathered mainly by

captures and morphologic identification.

In this pioneer work we performed multi-seasonal field survey in a variety of

habitats, along the Israeli part of the Great Rift Valley, from Mount Hermon in the

north to Eilat in the south. We used mist-netting, acoustic monitoring and tissue

sample collection for genetic analysis in order to broaden the knowledge about the

taxonomy of the Israeli bats and to find and identify new/cryptic species of bats in

Israel.

Our survey resulted in documentation of more than 84% of all known

insectivorous bat species of Israel (28 of 32 species). Captured bats were all

morphologically identified, and echolocation call recordings were identified to species

level. No new or unfamiliar species were encountered or recorded.

Our findings suggest there are some variances between populations of a few bat

species that could represent new/cryptic species. Genetic analysis will be performed

on collected tissue samples to provide a definitive answer as to the taxonomic status

of suspect species.