Savi’s pipistrelle (Pipistrellus savii) is a widespread and common bat of Europe, Asia and northern Africa. It is a rather large member of the genusPipistrellus, with long, thin ears, an elongated tragus and a tail that projects slightly from the tail membrane. The fur is fine and silky, being dark on the upperparts and pale on the underparts. The tail and wing membranes are blackish (2).
Almost nothing is known about the biology or behaviour of Savi’s pipistrelle. However, other species within the genusPipistrellus are known to roost in colonies numbering from around 30 to 100 individuals. Pipistrellus bats typically mate in the summer months, when females may form maternity roosts (4), and give birth to two young after a gestation period of around 50 days (5).
Savi’s pipistrelle has a wide range extending from southern Europe and north Africa, through the Middle East and the Caucasus to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and northern India (1)(3).
Savi’s pipistrelle forages around open woodland, pasture and wetlands, but may also hunt around lights in rural towns and cities. It roosts in rock crevices, under bark, or in fissures in buildings. In Africa, it is mainly found in uplands and mountains, foraging over water and prairies (1).
A widespread and common species, Savi’s pipistrelle is not currently considered at risk of extinction. In the western part of its range it is generally found at lower densities as its habitat is less common there, but it is more abundant in some European areas bordering the Mediterranean. It is the commonest bat species in the Canary Islands, but its population size and trends are unknown in the eastern part of its range (1).
Savi’s pipistrelle is protected by national legislation in numerous countries across its range (1). It is also protected by some international legation obligations, including the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (Eurobats), which aims to protect all 45 species of bat identified in Europe through legislation, education, conservation measures and international co-operation (6). It is also included in Annex IV of the EU Habitats and Species Directive. Savi’s pipistrelle also receives a degree of protection in a number of protected areas (1).
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A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
A soft cartilaginous projection extending in front of the external opening of the ear. In bats, it plays an important role in filtering returning echoes in echolocation.
Qumsiyeh, M.B. (1996) Mammals of the Holy Land. Texas Tech University Press, Texas.
Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, M.D. (2005) Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland. Available at: http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3
Schober, W. and Grimmberger, E. (1987) A Guide to Bats of Britain and Europe. Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, London.
Nowak, R.M. (1994) Walker’s Bats of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
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