Japanese bats in winter, video


This video says about itself:

Searching for Japanese Bats – Japan‘s Northern Wilderness – BBC Earth

Steve heads for the Rimizu limestone caves in Japan to search for hibernating bats.

Bats in Dutch The Hague city


This video says about itself:

Bats in Transylvania

3 June 2014

Bats. Flyers of the night, mysterious creatures hiding in caves and abandoned buildings, about whom many of us don’t even know that they are not birds but belong to the family of mammals. The Apuseni Mountains in Romania is one of the regions that host the largest population of bats in Europe. Due to the ever-growing human pressure, however, bats and the caves serving as their homes have to be protected in many places. In this film we will follow in the footsteps of a bat conservation team, who are trying to explore and solve the problems threatening the bat population with the support of the LIFE Nature program.

Dutch wildlife warden Jenny van Leeuwen reports today that during research in the Haagse Bos, a forest in the center of The Hague city, six bat species have been found.

They are: Daubenton’s bat, common noctule, common pipistrelle, serotine bat, pond bat and Nathusius’ pipistrelle.

There are also other mammals in the Haagse Bos, including red squirrels, roe deer and red foxes.

The Batman of Vietnam


This video, recorded in Vietnam, says about itself:

24 July 2016

In episode 21 of the Monday Morning Travel Vlog, “Boats and Bats”, we visit Ba Be National Park (aka Ba Be Lake) and take a trip on the lake.

Kayaking, a bat cave, and of course some more shuttle buses.

From BirdLife:

The Batman of Vietnam

30 Mar 2017

We interview Vu Dinh Thong, a man who fell in love with bat conservation only five years ago and is now one of Vietnam‘s leading bat experts.

In 2001, the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) funded a project led by Vu Dinh Thong to study the diversity and status of bats in Vietnam’s Bach Ma National Park. An award provided the spark that ignited his latent interest in conservation. Five years later, Thong received further support for his bat conservation work, this time in Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve. Today, he is an acknowledged expert on Vietnam’s bats and their conservation.

How did you first become interested in conservation?

I first started paying attention to wildlife in 1995 during a field excursion at the end of my second semester at Hanoi National University of Education. But, to be honest, until I received an award from the BP Conservation Programme (the former name of CLP) in 2001, I was focused on academic research and had very little interest in wildlife conservation. With support from CLP to attend the training workshop for project leaders in London, I got the chance to come to England.

I took the opportunity to visit the Harrison Institute in Sevenoaks to learn about bat taxonomy and systematics. As a result of what I learnt I became the first bat specialist in Vietnam, and came to understand more about the diversity of bats and their status in my country. Since then, I have carried on conducting research on bats and their conservation. To my mind, CLP was responsible for initiating my career and helped me to direct the trends in bat research and conservation in Vietnam.

Did you have a role model or someone who inspired you?

When I was a student at university, my supervisor Professor Tran Hong Viet announced that Vietnam lacked bat specialists, and encouraged me and my classmates to focus on bat research. My first boss, Professor Cao Van Sung [a specialist in small mammals] recognised my capabilities and passion in research. He was the one who passed me the announcement from the BP Conservation Programme inviting people to apply for a grant. This was just a few weeks before the deadline for submission of the pre-application form. Until that moment, I had never heard of CLP.

Why are you particularly interested in bats?

I’m fascinated by bat diversity and, in particular, by echolocation. Bats have diverse systematics and external features. Their echolocation capabilities are absolutely brilliant. To my knowledge, humans still know very little about this subject. Like other Vietnamese wildlife, some bats are extremely threatened by human activities, which include cave visiting by tourists, poaching and habitat loss.

Bats are very sensitive to disturbance and many may become extinct unless conservation actions are implemented in time. I came to appreciate that bats are vitally important in ecosystems and need consideration from humans.

What aspect of CLP support did you find most helpful?

It was CLP who actually launched my whole career by providing support for my projects in bat research and conservation. Both my CLP-funded projects attracted a lot of attention from PhD candidates, scientists and the public, so they gave me a great opportunity to raise my profile. I have stayed in contact with CLP ever since that first project in 2001, and I receive updates through emails, Facebook, Roots Up and meetings with other alumni.

The whole CLP team over the past 16 years has always been kind, thoughtful, friendly and willing to help, and encouraged me in both research and conservation. I am very grateful.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your work?

My work has led me to interesting findings, new to Vietnam and to science. I have also had the chance to help my colleagues in wildlife research and conservation, particularly in training and supervising followers and colleagues. I have also successfully supervised four MSc students in bat research and three PhD candidates, who will have finished their studies on bats by the end of 2017.

What achievement are you most proud of?

I have made new discoveries including a species of bat – Hipposideros khaokhouayensis – not previously known from Vietnam, and a species and subspecies – Hipposideros griffini and Hipposideros alongensis sungi respectively – that are both new to science. I created the first echolocation database in Vietnam and through my work I have raised awareness within the Vietnamese scientific community about bat research and conservation.

Prior to 2000, there were no Vietnamese bat specialists in the country. All material published in international journals used to be written by foreigners. That is no longer the case. One of the visible impacts from my CLP projects is that Vietnam now has at least three PhD students specialising in bat research.

What are Vietnam’s biggest conservation challenges?

Illegal hunting of wildlife and habitat loss or disturbance are both big problems, not only for bats, but also for other threatened wildlife.

What are the keys to success for conservationists in your country?

It needs a combination of communication skills and scientific research. Some conservationists are good at communication but have no personal background in research to convince the authorities or society about the need for conservation. On the other hand, some researchers are very good at research but not good at training or communication. Both communication skills and research capacity are equally important.

What are your plans for the next stage of your career?

I plan to carry on implementing research, conservation and training to help save the threatened species and their habitats; to understand more about bat diversity and echolocation behaviour; to increase conservation awareness within the scientific and public domain; and to build and strengthen a national network for bat research and general mammal research and conservation.

What advice do you have for the next generation of conservationists in Vietnam?

You should have a real passion for wildlife research and conservation. Everyone needs to be aware that there will be some difficulties at the beginning, but that is no reason to give up. Success never comes easily. It takes a lot of effort.

Mexican bats and tequila


This video says about itself:

27 January 2017

As a nectar feeder, the lesser long-nosed bat follows the trail of cactus blooms between Mexico and the U.S. One of the plants it also plays a major role in pollinating is agave, which gives us tequila.

Rare bat winters in Dutch Zeeland


This is a Geoffroy’s bat video from Belgium.

Translated from Dutch Vroege Vogels radio:

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Geoffroy’s bat was found during the annual count of bats in the World War II bunker in Burgh-Haamstede in Zeeland province. It is the first time that this very rare species has been observed in Zeeland. …

Geoffroy’s bats in the Netherlands live almost exclusively in South Limburg limestone quarries. The census also reported several hundred wintering Daubenton’s bats, as well as some 30 Natterer’s bats, some 20 brown long-eared bats and two whiskered bats.

Vampire bats drink human blood after habitat damage


This 2012 video is called Vampire Bats | World’s Weirdest.

From the International Business Times:

A new species of vampire bat has started to feed on human blood

Hairy-legged bat was thought to feed only on bird blood, but human disruption of its habitat made it change tack.

By Martha Henriques

January 12, 2017 10:37 GMT

Updated 1 hr ago

A South American species of hairy-legged vampire bat that was thought to feed only on birds has been caught feeding on human blood for the first time, prompting concerns about disease transmission in the country if the bats become rabid.

Scientists studying bat poo found in three out of 15 samples from the bats, living in the Caatinga dry forests of north-east Brazil, there were traces of DNA from human blood, according to a study published in the journal Acta Chiropterologica.

The bat species studied is usually a fastidious eater and only feeds on bird blood, which has a very different composition compared with mammal blood. But the bats are adapting fast, and the scientists noted significant and regular consumption of human blood.

The scientists say that human activity is likely to be the cause in the bats’ changing tastes.

“The record of humans as prey and the absence of blood from native species may reflect a low availability of wild birds in the study site, reinforcing the impact of human activities on local ecological processes,” the study authors write in the paper.

Humans are increasingly inhabiting the forests, bringing domestic animals with them. The birds – such as guans and tinamous– that are the bats’ favoured source of blood are being driven out of the area.

“We were quite surprised,” study author Enrico Bernard of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, told the New Scientist. “This species isn’t adapted to feed on the blood of mammals.”

Bats are known to transmit rabies in Brazil, with outbreaks of the disease killing 23 people in northern Brazil within two months in 2005. A total of 55 cases of rabies in humans were reported in the Amazon region.

Human activity has previously been linked to the prevalence of bat-related rabies outbreaks in South America, with the introduction of livestock and landscape modification being key factors affecting the bats’ feeding habits and disease transmission.

Recovering bats get flying lessons


This 14 February 2013 is called Peter Twisk – Monitoring Nathusius’ pipistrelle with the use of bat boxes?

Translated from Dutch Vroege Vogels radio:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Ecologist Peter Twisk is doing something very special: he trains bats to fly. At various places in the Netherlands there are rehab centres for injured bats. Often these are young animals which have lost their parents. Many of them are set free after recovery. Some young bats cannot fly properly. Therefore, Peter Twisk gives them ‘flying lessons’ in his own living room.

The radio this morning said Peter Twisk is the only person in the Netherlands doing that. At the moment, he has three bat ‘pupils’ in his home: a female lesser noctule bat which had been injured; her baby; and a serotine bat.

In the morning, when Peter Twisk eats his breakfast, the bats do so as well: mealworms.

Peter Twisk hopes he will be able to set the bats free in some weeks’ time.