Mysterious and vulnerable: let’s save the bats of Transcarpathia!

Bats have terrified people for a long time. Many legends and stories have been invented around their unusual way of life and appearance. Their sharp teeth and night flights created the illusion of potential danger when people meet them. However, in reality, everything is not so, and only three species living in certain places feed on the blood of large mammals. The rest are satisfied with insects, fruit, and nectar and have nothing to do with vampirism.

Bats are the most vulnerable and sensitive group of animals to environmental changes, which indicate the degree of preservation or pollution of any part of the land. All species of bats in our fauna are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine and all species of European bats are protected by the Berne Convention. By the way, bats are the only group of mammals of the aboriginal fauna that actively uses architectural and various engineering structures for their shelter, and some species of bats have become common precisely in cities. The workshop on making boxes for bats and birds was devoted to the topic of bat conservation and the need to make homes for them.

On August 5th, a workshop on making boxes for bats and birds was held for children, including IDPs, who are resting in the Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity in Bozhdos Park. The event was conducted by Andriy Donichenko, head of the organization of people with disabilities “Parallelny svit”. The participants learned a lot of interesting information about these mysterious creatures. In particular, bats, and almost all species, have large ears, which are responsible for their amazing echolocation abilities. They distinguish between objects 1-10 mm in size emitting a series of ultrasounds at frequencies of 20-120 kHz and perceiving echoes. This allows bats to fly in the dark and “see” insects. In a day, a bat eats insects with a total weight of up to 1/2 – 2/3 of its own weight, catching them in flight or hunting them on tree trunks. The front limbs of bats turned into wings in the course of a long evolution. Elongated fingers began to serve as the skeleton of the wing.

Bats begin their hunt by visiting a watering place; on dry days, a small bat weighing 5-8 grams drinks up to 1 ml of water per day, compensating for large losses of moisture due to flying skin membranes. Did you know that bats are the only group of mammals capable of hypothermia? Every day at rest, they enter a state of deep physiological sleep, lowering their body temperature to the temperature of the environment.  By the way, bats often choose caves for winter, since the body temperature is always higher than the freezing point of water, and the relative humidity exceeds 70%. The young conservationists painted the structures of the houses, and later, with the help of Mr. Andriy, assembled them. In memory of the event, the children received commemorative badges.

The event was held as part of the cooperation of the Interreligious and Environmental Civil Forum of Eastern Europe (IRCEF) (head by  Alexander Bokotey in cooperation with the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU Bundesverband NABU International ), project coordinators Ivan Tymofeiev (NABU)Nataliya Kulya (IRCEF).

Informational Service of IRCEF

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