Translated from the Dutch Mammal Society:
Monday, November 9th, 2015
During large-scale church attic research in Friesland last summer many new Daubenton’s bats homes were discovered. It was also examined what could be the possible reason why this species stays in church attics.
More than 200 churches were examined for the presence of bats. The study was conducted by two students from Van Hall Larenstein College in Leeuwarden, commissioned by the Office of the Mammal Society. The churches prove to be very important places for bats. In total, 36% of these churches house bats and bats’ traces were found found in 84%.
The most commonly found species were common long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) and Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii). Also found was the rare Natterer’s bat (Myotis nattereri), this was only the third time that this species in the Netherlands was found in a church attic. The research has provided valuable data on the distribution of bats.
The high number of churches in which colonies of Daubenton’s bats were found was most remarkable. This is a species that is best known as a tree dweller and of which in the Netherlands hardly colonies in buildings were known. Of this species was also discovered the largest known colony of the Netherlands: as many as 242 animals were counted in a church.