We studied the foraging behaviour of the dawn bat Eonycteris spelaea, a cave roosting nectarivore widespread in SE Asia, and principal pollinator of economically important crops. We radio-tracked 17 individuals for five to 19 nights over a three month period. The bats were from three cave colonies in agricultural habitats in southern Thailand. They traveled between one and 17.9 km ( ± SD: 4.4 km ± 5.07, median = 2.34) from their roosting cave to food sources. The mean home-range size of the individuals varied with the method used in its calculation from 518.4 ha (100% Minimum Convex Polygon, MCP) to 564.5 ha (100% Local Convex Hull method, LoCoH) and 460.8 ha (95% Kernel density estimation, KDE). The mean size of foraging areas used by the bats also varied according to the method of calculation from 14.26 ha (100% MCP), 13.25 ha (100% LoCoH) and 38.52 ha (95% KDE) and accounted for 21.9%, 20.08% and 40.5% of the respective home-range size. The bats foraged in one to three foraging areas each night. The greatest distance between feeding trees varied between 0.25 and 8 km (mean 1.25 km ± 2.19). Those bats with multiple foraging areas moved from patch to patch of Durio zibethinus and did not return to a previously visited patch, whereas those feeding on Parkia repeated their visits to several patches in a single night. Ninety percent of foraging areas used by the radio-tagged individuals were in managed habitat such as fruit orchards and yards of houses to which the bats maintained strong site fidelity.
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Vol. 17 • No. 2