Rare bat rediscovery in Albania


This video says about itself:

Bechstein’s Bat being handled by a licenced bat worker during box monitoring work.

From Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bat species rediscovered after 20 years in Vjosa River

Two decades after it was “lost”, the Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) has been spoted by PPNEA researchers working in the Vjosa river banks. In the spring and summer of 2014, a team lead by our bat initiative coordinator Philippe Theou, surveyed for the presence of bat nursery roosts the south of Albania near the Vjosa river, one of the last wild rivers in Europe.

Between June and July 2014, two new observations of M. bechsteinii were recorded near the Vjosa river. One refers to a cave situated near the village of Mezhgoran, where a cluster numbering 16 bats was observed on the 14th June 2014. The other observation refers to the canyon of Lengarica near the village of Benjë, which is directly connected to the Vjosa River.

All these data represent the only records available in Albania since 1995, and increases the number of known locations from one to three in total. The number of data is unfortunately far too low to make any inference on the population status of this species. However, it seems clear that the woody banks of rivers of southern Albania represents important habitats for this species, as all the data available until now have been collected in locations situated at an approximate distance of 20m from the river bank.

Bechstein’s bat is a EU protected species since it is a rare species that occurs at low densities and has specific habitat requirements, such as Vjosa river banks. Its population is fragmented and its sedentary habits mean that it does not colonize new areas easily. As stated above, there is very little information on population trends, but it is suspected that the species is declining as a result of the loss and degradation of specific types habitats, compounded by other threats such as increased human disturbance due to ongoing construction of hydro-power plants in the river. This underlines the importance of these unique ecosystems which represents the last wild rivers in Europe, and point-out the need for future development measures for their protection and conservation.

For more information on this discovery please read the full text of the scientific article published at Ecologica Montenegrina journal by Philippe Theou and our good colleague Marina Djurovic from Montenegro.

5 thoughts on “Rare bat rediscovery in Albania

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