Rare bats discovered in old well


This video says about itself:

13 September 2014

A pond bat (Myotis dasycneme) is hunting over a canal in midsummer. Fast flight low over the water surface. Wet sounds in heterodyne tuned at 35 kHz. Recording with a Nite Site Spotter and a Pettersson ultrasound detector.

Today, wildlife warden Marike Vissers from the Veluwe region in the Netherlands writes about a discovery in a restored old well in Hoog Buurlo village.

This well turns out to be second most important place in Gelderland province for hibernating pond bats. Pond bats are rare in the Netherlands.

Millions of bats on video


This video says about itself:

Drone Captures Millions Of Swarming Bats

4 March 2016

This creepy footage of ‘millions’ of swarming bats could be evidence of Batman‘s legendary cave.

Forget Gotham City, this flying formation turned the sky above Khao no-Khao Kaeo, Thailand, dark as night.

As the video begins, the river of bats starts to appear above the lush forest below.

With the creatures corkscrewing around in unison, the drone – being operated by Charlie Onians – is swiftly surrounded by flapping wings.

Dutch ancient fort and wildlife


In this 3 March 2016 Dutch video, wildlife rangers Marcel and Hanne are at Fort Kijkuit, a nineteenth century, originally military, building. Today the fort is important for wintering bats and insects like ladybirds. Outside the fort are birds including kingfishers.

Bats at former military base


This video from the USA says about itself:

World’s largest bat colony – over 40 million bats – BBC wildlife

Enter the deep toxic bat caves of Texas USA and take a closer look at the breeding skills and survival instincts of bat young.

Soesterberg in Utrecht province in the Netherlands used to be an air force base.

Now, it is reconstructed as a nature reserve.

Bats winter there. Mostly Daubenton’s bats, but also Natterer’s bats and greater long-eared bats.

Bat ‘Super Immunity’ To Lethal Diseases Could Help Protect People: here. And here.

Good Dutch bats news


This video says about itself:

Bats’ warm hibernation alters scientific thinking

10 May 2015

Israeli researchers discover that mouse-tailed bats can hibernate at constant warm temperatures, the first time that a mammal has been shown to do so. Sharon Reich reports.

Translated from the Dutch Natuurmonumenten conservationists:

Record number of bats in the High Country of Vollenhove

Feb 2, 2016 – At least 65 bats were spotted by forester Ronald Messemaker on Wednesday, January 27th in the Vitens bat bunker just outside St. Jansklooster. It thus appears that the High Country of Vollenhove and De Wieden is an ideal combination for bats.

The number of bats in the High Country of Vollenhove has been increasing for years. “Last year I wrote 57 animals on my notepad. Newcomer is the whiskered bat,” says an enthusiastic Messemaker. Furthermore two brown long-eared bats and 21 Daubenton’s bats stay there. The latter have increased enormously. Last year there were 6. Natterer’s bats unfortunately fell from 48 to 41.

Big horseshoe bat discovery in Romania


This video is about a greater horeseshoe bat hibernating in Spain.

From the Conservation Leadership Programme:

Record-breaking bat colony discovered during CLP-funded survey

January 20, 2016

Team leader Szilárd Bücs sheds light on the spectacular findings of a cave survey conducted as part of a CLP-funded bat conservation project in Romania.

February 2015. Lots of snow and sunshine. Temperature well below zero. A typical winter in South-Western Romania. What is not so typical is the happiness of nine slightly frozen cavers, who have been tiptoeing around for over an hour in order to close the complex gate system of one of the most well-protected caves in Romania. Our team has just finished the winter survey of Topolnița Cave, a spectacular underground environment in the Mehedinți Mountains. And we are overjoyed, because in the process we have discovered probably the largest colony of the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) in Europe.

We say probably, because at that stage the exact size of the colony had yet to be determined. Photographs were taken, to minimise on-site disturbance of hibernating bats, and a painstaking one-by-one count followed at home, on PCs and laptops. The end result exceeded every expectation: on site, the colony was estimated to comprise around 4,000 individuals (a huge number in itself), but the final count yielded 7,482 greater horseshoe bats. This number means that the colony is by far the largest aggregation of this species in Europe, and is also high on the list of the biggest colonies of all five European horseshoe bat species.

The survey leading to the find was conducted as part of the CLP-funded project “Protecting the horseshoe bats of Romania”, which received a Future Conservationist Award in 2014. Besides the CLP project team, the group making the discovery was composed of rangers from the Mehedinți Plateau Geopark protected area, and two fellow bat researchers from the Emil Racoviță Speleological Institute. Indeed, collaboration yields the best results.

The overall goal of the CLP project was to improve the status of horseshoe bat populations in Southern Romania, with the purpose of establishing key elements in their conservation: (1) availability of up-to-date distribution data, (2) positive public attitude towards bats and (3) engaged decision makers. Completed in May 2015, the project achieved all three of the proposed objectives, and hence its overall goal.

Scientific data about horseshoe bats and their distribution in Southern Romania was updated, with several other major bat-related discoveries alongside the colony from Topolnița cave. Partial results have already been published and/or presented at conferences (see below). Public attitudes towards horseshoe bats and bats in general improved noticeably, thanks to a diverse array of awareness activities through social media, printed materials and school presentations. The project’s key messages were simple, engaging and visible, enabling the public to contribute to bat conservation. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Also, the increased frequency of phone calls received about bats needing help, and the desire to be directly involved in bat rescue, are indicative of increased public engagement.

Finally, stakeholders (protected area custodians and cavers) from Southern Romania are now able to be actively involved in the conservation of local horseshoe bat populations and bats in general. They participated in all stages of the project, including fieldwork planning and actual fieldwork, learned basic species identification techniques, and also took part in education activities. Collaboration with protected area custodians is ongoing, especially in the annual monitoring of key sites and colonies discovered during the project. Joint field trips with local cavers are planned for this year, mainly to caves never previously surveyed for bats. Further discoveries are imminent.

Besides the fact that our knowledge of Europe’s horseshoe bat fauna has been enriched, and key elements of conservation established, it is also highly encouraging that colonies of such size are still being discovered. With two other major finds (one cave of continental importance and 5,000+ bats in hibernation, and a colony with 350+ greater horseshoe bats in an abandoned building), the project established that South-Western Romania harbours the highest bat diversity in the country, and is one of the key regions in Europe for bat populations.

The CLP-funded project was crucial to get back on track with the conservation of horseshoe bats in Southern Romania, not only for the greater horseshoe bat, but also for the Vulnerable Mehely’s horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus mehelyi) and other cave-dwelling bat species. The in-kind contribution of the Romanian Bat Protection Association made fieldwork fast-paced and efficient. The project has illustrated the vital importance of ongoing communication with the general public and key stakeholders, and its impact from a scientific, educational and decision-making perspective will be felt for years to come, aided indispensably by continuous communication with the public and stakeholders.

Members of the CLP project team remain intensely involved in national bat research and monitoring, with two other projects currently under way: one targets anthropogenic bat roosts (churches, old buildings) and their restoration, while the other maintains an uninterrupted connection to the public, in the form of a bat distress phone line. In addition, one team member has started her PhD…on bats, naturally.

The presence of Mehely’s horseshoe bat Rhinolophus mehelyi in South-Western Romania

New data regarding the status and distribution of horseshoe bats (genus Rhinolophus) in karst areas of Southern Romania

For further details, contact Szilárd Bücs (szilard_bux@yahoo.com)

Wintering bats counted


This video from the USA says about itself:

7 April 2012

I talk about where bats go in the winter. Some hibernate, some migrate, some hang around and hide in anything from attics to farm equipment. I also briefly touch on White Nose Syndrome.

Warden Thijmen van Heerde reports today about a ‘bat hotel’ in the Ooijpolder nature reserve near Nijmegen city in Gelderland province in the Netherlands. The ‘hotel’ is an old oven, reconstructed to accommodate wintering bats.

This year, 41 Daubenton’s bats, six whiskered bats and six brown long-eared bats winter there.

Dutch bats flying in January 2016: here.