Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Section of Conservation Biology






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The mammalian fauna of the Brussels Region includes at least 42 extant species and 9 extinct or probably extinct species. The presence of a further 6 species is probable or possible. These numbers reflect a rather high species richness for the surface concerned (160 km2), close to, or slightly above, the richness expected on the basis of the continental species-area curve. With 13 species known to occur, and a further 3 whose presence is probable, bats represent a particularly significant part of the fauna. This chiropterological richness is explained by the very high biological worth of the Forêt de Soignes coupled with favourable feeding grounds on its periphery, in particular, above and around the lakes of the Woluwe River hydrographic network.

Work related to mammals conducted by the Conservation Biology Section, its staff and collaborators in the Brussels Region have mostly concentrated on bats, for which records have been collected since 1946. From 1997 on, studies have been extended to all mammals, with emphasis first on those that can be readily detected by observation of animals or signs of presence, then progressively on the development of methodologies appropriate to more elusive species. Documents generated in the course of those studies are made available online as they are completed. They are listed below.




List of mammals of the Brussels Region. The list includes all species of mammals that have been recorded as certainly or probably occurring within the political boundaries of the Brussels Region, with their English, French, Dutch and French vernacular names.



Status of the mammals of the Brussels Region. A tabular summary of the present status (proven presence, probable presence, extinction) and overall distributional characteristics of the mammals of the Brussels Region.



Annotated list of the mammals of the Brussels Region. The mammals known to occur, probably occur or have occurred within the Brussels Region presented with a brief characterisation of their distribution, abundance, trends and history of occurrence (in French).



 Data sheets on selected species. Summaries of information on selected species of mammals of the Brussels Region, covering systematics and nomenclature, morphometry, appearance, life history, behaviour, diet, distribution, habitat, movements, status and trends, legal protection, threats and conservation. The selection is presently limited to bats and the information is in French only.



Grid maps. Distribution of mammals of the Brussels Region, shown as presence-absence data in 1 km x 1 km cells of a UTM grid. Border squares are marked as occupied only if records exist for the part of the square that lies within the political boundaries of the Brussels Region.



Mammibru database online consultation. The Mammibru database is a compilation of geographically assigned observations of mammals in the Brussels Region, combining Mapinfo mapping with an Access table of data. A map-presentation of the database can be consulted on-line.



Mammibru database download. A downloadable package comprising a complete set of the Mammibru data, in Access format, without mapping tools. It is a working document accessible to collaborators of the Mammibru project.



Methodologies. Descriptive summaries of data collecting methodologies used in the course of mammal research in the Brussels Region. Emphasis is on non-destructive methods of detection of elusive species.



Photographic documents. A set of photographs of mammals of the Brussels Region or their habitats. Documents are presently available online for a limited number of species. They constitute a small extract of the photographic database of the Section of Conservation Biology.



Publications. A list of publications by staff members and collaborators of the Section of Conservation Biology that pertain to mammals of the Brussels Region.






Introductory text and HTML document prepared by Pierre Devillers and Jean Devillers-Terschuren. Photograph Pierre Devillers