Turkish Journal of Zoology




Genetic data from populations are currently being used in order to assess the conservation status of various species. In this study, the conservation implications of the genetic structure of 3 cave-dwelling bat species in southeastern Europe and Anatolia are discussed. These species are the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), the bent-winged bat (Miniopterus schreibersii), and the long-fingered bat (Myotis capaccinii). The conservation status of the species is evaluated using 3 conservation unit approaches, specifically evolutionarily significant unit and management unit definitions and population aggregation analysis. These approaches are implemented simultaneously for the first time for any species in Turkey, through an evaluation of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data previously generated for these species. Based on these data, both regional and cave-specific conservation recommendations are made. The results suggest that for M. capaccinii, the area to be protected in order to maximize the conservation of genetic diversity is around the border of Turkey with Bulgaria and Greece. For the other 2 species, these areas are within Anatolia.


Mitochondrial DNA, conservation unit, evolutionarily significant unit, management unit, population aggregation analysis

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