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Welcome  to  BatLife  Information

BatLife Information is an information portal on bats and bat research with special emphasis on Europe. Any contributions to update the web pages are welcomed.

The portal is managed by BatLife Nordica, also named Nordic Chiroptera Information Center (NIFF). The membership organization covers Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

News from the Nordic Countries and NIFF: Batlife Nordica.

 

 


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Recent News
European bats and bat related research



Wednesday 22 June 2022

2nd IBROS to be organized in January 2023  
Christian Voigt and Josepha Prügel from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research announced earlier today that they will be organizing the 2nd International Bat Research Online Symposium on 24. and 25. of January next year. The symposium is organized together with the Eurobats Secretariat, and has got the title Daily and seasonal movements of bats.
      Deadline for abstracts is set to 16th of October. Registration and abstract submission, together with a preliminary programme will eventually be available on their web-page.


 




Saturday 11 June 2022

New bat book launched by Pelagic Poblishing  
On 26th of July the Exetor based British firm Pelagic Publishing are planning to lauch their book «A miscellany of bats», published by Fenton and Rydell.
      Melville Brock Fenton is an honorary professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Jens Rydell was a bat researcher and photographer at Lund University in Sweden. The authors have both a PhD on bats, with a lifelong dedication to bat research.
     
For the time being Pelagic shares little information of their new book. It is suppose to cover all aspects of bat biodiversity, ecology and their natural history.
      The book is schedualed to be launched on 26th of July, with a cost of UKP 30. It will be available in paperback. However, number of pages and format has not yet been released. The ISBN number is 978-1-78427-294-4.


 



 


Saturday 30 April 2022

Migrating bats tolerate higher wind speeds
A Dutch study showed that the Nathusius's Pipistrelle P. nathusii is more tolerant of stronger winds than the Banded Pipistrelle P. pipistrellus. This was especially true during fall migration when there was wind from the east or northeast. The Banded Pipistrelle showed no favoritism of this wind direction.
     
The results show that observations around the wind turbines' rotors during higher wind speeds concern migrating Nathusius's Pipistrelles, and that there are large differences in wind tolerance between migratory and stationary individuals.
Source: Boonman, Martijn; Roland Vliet & Astrid Potiek. Bat activity in windfarms during high wind speed: is migration a contributing factor? Book of abstracts of oral and poster presentations of the 6th Conference on wind energy and wildlife impacts. 125 pages. No ISBN.


 

 



A  pipistrelle during flight.
Photo: Francois Schwaab.


 


Saturday 9 April 2022

Mines are important for detecting rare bat species
Caves and mines are used by many bat species as hibernation sites. They choose cool and frost-free locations with high humidity when they start to hibernate during late fall. They hibernate for several months until March or April.
      In Southern and Central Europe we find in many caves and mines thousands of overwintering bats. We also find such mines in Denmark (Mønsted, Daugbjerg and Thingbæk). But in Norway, Sweden and Finland the numbers are quite small, where a few dozen animals are considered many.
      Nevertheless, these mines are important. Not for bats, but for bat researchers. Some species are difficult to detect during summer using traditional methods such as bat detectors or capture techniques, but may during winter easily be discovered as the animals are dormant and can easily be observed up close.
Examples of such discoveries is the Bechstein's Bat in Scania (Skåne) and the Barbastelle in Vestfold.


 



The Barbastell was rediscovered during March 2004 in Norway, as it was recorded from a water tunnel.
Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

 


Saturday 26 March 2022

Swedish wind turbine firm Vattenfall plan expantion in North Sea  
In Norway, Vattenfall and the Norwegian company Seagust have formed a joint venture. Via the joint venture, the companies will offer licenses in the areas Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II in the North Sea. The Norwegian government has previously announced that it plans to build new wind power with a capacity of up to 4.5 GW, consisting of both floating and bottom-mounted wind turbines. The licensing process is expected to continue in 2022.


 




 


Saturday 26 Februar 2022

6th CWW conference in Netherlands goes as planned
The first CWW meeting was organized in Trondhjem during May 2011, followed by the Vindval conference in Stockholm during February 2013. NIFF participated at both conferences. Since, it has been organized every two years, hosted in Berlin, Lisbon and Stirling.
     
The 6th Conference on Wind energy and Wildlife impacts (CWW) will be organized by Bureau Waardenburg Ecology & Landscape. It was postponed from last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is scheduled to go forward as planned in Egmond aan Zee in the Netherlands during 4. - 8. April.


 





 


Saturday 19 Februar 2022

The Norwegian Government investing in North Sea offshore wind turbines  
On 9 February, the Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre presented the plan to expand the Southern North Sea II with floating wind turbines. The first phase of the Southern North Sea II will be 1500 megawatts. This corresponds to the consumption of 460,000 households. Expensive solutions with transport of energy lead to the development being less profitable, and therefore the Government has plans to subsidize the development. It is estimated that the first wind turbines will be ready between 2025 and 2030.
      It is known that bats fly between Rogaland and Scotland. Almost every year, bats appear on oil drilling platforms in the North Sea, and most recently in the autumn of 2019, when two discoveries of Nathusius' Pipistrelle were made on the Ula platform.
      Knowledge of migratory bats crossing the North Sea is minimal, and as of today no impact assessments have been carried out in this area. This
is in violation of a number of Norwegian environmental protection laws and the European bats agreement.


 


 



Offshore wind turbines in the Baltic Sea, visible from the Øresund Bridge. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.
 


Saturday 12 Februar 2022

Looking for sponsors
The web-page batlife.info reaches almost 100 unique viewers in average every day. These are targeted bat workers who visit our pages exclusively.
      We are looking to develop these web-pages extensively, and also include a few additional web-address' we already manage. We do not use pop-ups or other dynamic commercials on our web-pages, and hope they will be free of this in the future.
      However, we are looking for a main sponsor, and maybe one or two supplement sponsors who manufacture or resell bat research equipment. The sponsors will have exclusive access to promote their company and products on our web-pages.
      If you are interested, please contact us (niff@flaggermus.no) for further details and discussion.


 


 



The logo to NIFF is a Northern Bat flying over the sea as the midnight sun sets in the horizon. Drawing: Peter Twisk.
 


Wednesday 26 January 2022

The European Bats Agreement is 30 years
The European Bats Agreement was signed in London on the 4th of December 1991. The Agreement put forward a number of demands which national authorities need to implement. The contents of the agreement does not take effect before it has been integrated into national law and regulations.
      Law and legislation both in Scandinavia and within the EU are relatively sufficient for bat protection. Both the bats and their habitats are relatively good protected, and there are high requirement to Environmental Impact Assessments and follow up mitigation. However, the European Bats Agreement has had little, if any, impact on national and local management of bats.
      Mostly, legislation in favor of wildlife is ignored or overlooked. It is the management authorities themselves who violate the rules, including local, regional and national level. Also institutions such as road authorities violate the rules on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the nature protection authorities are mostly passive and careful and withdrawn when it comes to follow-up of the bats agreement. For instance Norway has no Norwegian version of the agreements text for at least the ten first years of the agreement, and the Regional Environmental Protection Agencies had not received the agreement text. It was first in 2019 that the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management formed guidelines for how bats are to be treated in wind turbine planning and construction. And still, to this date, no EIA has been carried out in Norway on bats and wind turbines!
      In connection to NIFF's 25 year jubilee, we are now writing a booklet addressing all the violations of the agreement done in Scandinavia. Norway reaches first place on number of serious violations, but both Denmark and Sweden have some serious issues as well.
      More information will also be presented in future issues of Fennoscandian Bats.


 



Østerild testcenter does not monitor spring migration. The northern part of Denmark is a natural bottle-neck for spring migration of birds. However, bats were not studied during the most important season. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde
 


Wednesday 19 January 2022

batlife.info reach 35 000 visitors a year
The Batlife Information web-page, covering European bat news and bat related information, has so far had a relatively low visiting rate. The people who visit these web-pages are already interested in bats, often looking for specific information or upadting themselves with news. However, in relation to the number of bat workers in Europe, the number of visits has so far been constant but low.
      During the first week of January the number of daily visits reached over 100 each day. Largest count of unique visits for one day was 119. On an annual basis this adds up to over 35000 visits! However, the number of visits may vary a lot between seasons, and is also influenced by bat conferences and workshops. The actual number for 2022 will be measured at the end of this year.
      The web-statistics is an important tool to guide future editing priorities. However, the results from the first week of this year inspires to more frequent and updated news. At the same time we encourage bat workers to send us your local news, reports or articles. Much of this information is also interesting for a wider range of bat enthusiasts.


 



 



 


Saturday 8 January 2022

We wish our readers a Happy New Year
The past year had many challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic. Postponed conferences from 2020 were planned for 2021. However, the pandemic was even more aggressive during last year, forcing all physical meetings in Europe (except Sweden) to be cancelled. On top of this we lost our two most important bat scientists as Ingemar Ahlén and Jens Rydell both died. Travel between Scandinavian countries has also been a challenge due to freedom restrictions. This has affected NIFF’s fieldwork.
      On the bright side, last year had a European record high of number of bat conferences. This was because all the physical conferences were organized «online» as web-meetings.
     
NIFF has now existed for 25 years, and also others are celebrating their jubilees this coming year. I hope 2022 will strengthen the bat work in Europe.


 


 



Leif Gjerde checking a hibernating Brown Long-eared Bat. Photo: Lea Likozar.

 


Monday 20 December 2021

Welsh bat enthusiast died 
Tomas Peat McOwat, born on 20. October 1947, was a Scottish artist, printmaker and naturalist. In 1974 he moved to Wales where he has lived since. He was heavily involved in bat research, surveys, training and promoting an awareness of bats and their need for protection.
      McOwat has always been interested in wildlife and the countryside. He had a particular interest for small mammals, and bats especially after a meeting with Bob Stebbings in 1970.
      His web-page is still updated by family, and has much information about his work. Also British BCT has an interesting summery of his bat work through the years.
      Tom
was a friendly, open minded and sympathetic bat worker. He frequently attended the European bat conferences. The illustration photo (right) is taken during the post conference trip to the 15th International Bat Research Conferene in Prague during August 2010. More pictures of McOwat can be viewed at our picture gallery.
      He died peacefully in Carmarthen (Southwest Wales) on Wednesday 27. October, at an age of 74. He will be greatly missed...


 


 


Tom McOwat, Merlin Tuttle (the founder of Bat Conservation International) and Leif Gjerde from NIFF on the post conference excurtion in Moravia, Czechia during August 2010. Photo: Knut Åge Storstad.

 


Thursday 9 December 2021

Workshop on bats and building insulation 
This webinar, originally addressed as a workshop, was organized over Internet. The topics were related to necessary bat mitigation when using lining and insulation materials in buildings. The seminar was a contribution to implement Resolution 8.9 in the European Bats Agreement «Bats, Insulation and Lining Materials».
      The
Czech Bat Conservation Society, EuroBats secretariat and Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic were all hosts to the seminar. The ministry also financed the event.
      There was a total of seven lectures, with room for several more. The seminar was extremely interesting, covering a relatively new and little studies topic in bat research. Several lectures presented own results on mitigation, mostly related to eastern central Europe.
      NIFF participated on the event, and information from the lectures will be integrated in our work. The seminar is more extensively described in Fennoscandian Bats.


 



 


Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Wednesday 3 November 2021

1st IBROS organized by the Leibniz Institute 
Yesterday the Leibniz Institute in Berlin organized a one-day seminar on bats and wind energy. The webinar was addressed as the first «International Bat Research Online Symposium», and was titled Towards solving the wind energy-bat conflict. We expect that there are IBROS's to come in the following years.
     
NIFF participated in the 1st IBROS, and the seminar will be presented in the next number of Fennoscandian Bats.


 




Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Saturday 30 October 2021

European bat conference on hibernating bats 
This year seems to contain an unusual high number of conferences. In part this is because of over-due conferences as a result of the Covid-pandemic in 2021. With the pandemic still ongoing in 2022, with no prospects for any end, many have decided to organize online conferences. This has resulted in an unusual high number of seminars (webinars).
     
This webinar contained exclusively lectures, and was marking the end of the Natura Viadrina + prosject. The work was supported by EU's INTERREG VA Brandenburg – Polen 2014-2020 programme. The seminar was organized during three days (26. - 28. November) by the Euronatur foundation. It was free for everyone to join.
     
NIFF participated in the webminar, and the event will be presented in the next number of Fennoscandian Bats.


 





Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Monday 10 May 2021

Different, original and successful bat conference in Turku
Last week, the 15th European Bat Research Symposium was organized by the University of Turku and the Helsinki Museum of Natural History. The conference was scheduled for last August 2020, but had to be moved to August 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After some fuss with the choice of time, the conference was finally held from 4 to 7 May. It was organized as an internet conference.
      The organizers had found good and functional platforms for the conference, and the participants probably felt that this was really a true conference and not just another webinar. The conference was carried out with 236 participants from 34 countries, and a number of new research results were presented as posters and lectures. This conference was characterized by the proportion of more researchers and topics outside Europe than normal, compared with previous conferences.
     
A more in-depth article about the conference can be read in the autumn issue of Fennoscandian Bats.


 


 



Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Saturday 10 April 2021

Internationally renowned bat researcher Jens Rydell has died
One of the world's most renowned bat researchers, the Swede Jens Rydell, died of a heart attack at the age of 67 on 8 April.
      He grew up in Västergötland, where for several years he was also associated with the University of Gothenburg. For several decades, he has built up an international reputation for high-quality research. He was a pioneer in several of his studies, and in recent years he contributed significantly to research on bats and wind turbines through the Vindval project. He was a life-time member of NIFF.
      A more in-depth article about his work can be read in the spring issue of Gudnoloddi and Fennoscandian Bats.
He will be greatly missed.


 



Jens Rydell giving a lecture at the Vindval conference in Stockholm 2013.
Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Thursday 25 March 2021

The International Berlin Bat Meeting
The International Berlin Bat Meeting have through the years been organized by the Leibniz Institute in Berlin. In average this event has been organized every two years, but was postponed from 2019 due to a conflicting event. In 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the event even further. The still on-going pandemic this spring resulted in that the Leibniz Institute did not wish to move the event yet another time. So it was organized as a webinar.
     
This years online IBBM was the sixth to be held. It was carried out during three days from 22nd to 24th of March. It is important to keep updated on bat research and results, so NIFF joined the webinar. The event, and some of its results, will be presented in the next issue of Fennoscandian Bats.


 


 


Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Tuesday 23 March 2021

Titley launched the new Chorus detector at IBBM
Today Titley Scientific launched their new detector at the International Berlin Bat Webinar (Meeting). The Chorus detector is a weather proof device able to record both ultra- and audible sound. It has a built in GPS and is powered by AA batteries. This means that also birds, frogs, wolves and other audible animals may now be recorded.
      The news is totally new. Titley has hidden their cards well, not even sending out the information on their newsletters. As of today, even their web-page do not include information about this new detector, only allowing us to find it indirectly. Untill now Wildlife Acoustics have been alone on the market with audible detectors, and Titley's new device is a strong contribution to open competition.
      The detector will be described in the July issue of Fennoscandian Bats, if we are able to accuire one for testing.


 







Monday 22 March 2021

November webinar: «A global assessment of the wind energy - bat conflict»
Christian C. Voight from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research announced at the International Berlin Bat Webinar (Meeting) that they are planning to organize a webinar entitled «Global assessment of the wind energy - bat conflict». It will be a one day event, organized on 2. November. Furter information will follow on their web page www.leibniz-izw.de. The webinar will be in English.


 



Picture show Danish wind turbines. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Thursday 18 March 2021

EUROBATS celebrate 30th anniversary
This year it is thirty years since the European Bats Agrement was signed. EUROBATS is the name of the administration located in Bonn (West Germany). They function as a secretariat for the countries who have signed the agreement.
     
NIFF has started to make a summary of how the Nordic countries (Iceland excluded) have implemented the agrrement. The results will be presented in the December issue of Fennoscandian Bats.


 





Wednesday 10 February 2021

The Swedish bat legend Ingemar Ahlén died at the age of 87
Ingemar Ahlén was born on 29th of July 1936 in Värmland. He was a Swedish ecologist employed by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) where he, among other things. studied bats. He discovered in the late 1970s that bat species could be distinguished by their ultrasound. He published identification literature in Swedish and English, and was the first in the world within his field. He has since been central in mapping the distribution of Swedish bats, and described several new species for Sweden. In recent years he has also been involved in research on bats at wind turbines both on land and offshore. He has also described migration in Swedish bats.
      Ahlén was taken from us far too soon when he died on 6 February. Unfortunately, he contracted the Covid-19 virus which contributed to his death. He still had a lot to do to contribute to science. He will be greatly missed.
     
A more in-depth article about his work can be read in the spring issue of Fennoscandian Bats.
 


 

 




Ingemar Ahlén at the Vindval conference in Stockholm 2013.
Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Thursday 4 February 2021

4th EABDW in Edinburgh has been cancelled
The fourth European Alpine Bat Detector Workshop was planned to be held in Edinburgh during September this year. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and practical issues connected to the outbrake, the planned workshop in Edinburgh has been cancelled. We are working on an alternative location this September, alternatively the one in Scotland will be organized next year.
     
More information will click here.

 


 



The Anabat Walkabout being tested at the 2nd EABDW in Vercors, France. Photo: Leif Yngev Gjerde.


Tuesday 19 January 2021

11th European Bat Detectors Workshop has been cancelled
Due to the European Bat Research Symposium in Turku (Finland) has been cancelled, there is no point in organizing the workshop.
      Since the first workshop (EBDW) in the Netherlands was organized in 1991, these workshops have always been organized in connection to the European Bat Research Symposium. Organizing the workshop just prior or after the symposium allows people to combine their travel. Furthermore, the workshop functions as an extention of the symposium.
      The next workshop will be held at the next European Bat Research Symposium, given that the EBRS is not organized as a webinar.


 

 


Chris Corben at the 8th EBDW in Aukstadvaris (Lithuania) during August 2011. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Friday 8 January 2021

Wildlife Acoustics launch new passive detector
Today, Wildlife Acoustics announced their new detector the Song Meter Micro will be for sale from March. It is not launched as a «new generation» detector, but rather the «next in line», supplementing their SongMeter 4 Bat and SongMeter Mini Bat detectors.
      The SM Mini Bat seems to be a short lived detector. Microphones are always the weakest link concerning detectors due to its short life expectancy (1-3 season). With this built into the detector, this limits the detectors overall lifespan. Furthermore, the warranty is only for one year (shorter then the 3-year EU regulated warranty), indicating the manufacturer have low expectations of their product. Otherwise the detector is based on Bluetooth 4.0 communication to enable operations, a feature that will good for some users and an obstical for others.
      Earlier it was the competition between the manufacturers Wildlife Acoustics and Titley Scientific that cut the market prices of mass produced detectors. Today there is becoming more evident that cheap «home made» detectors such as the CloudedBats (WURB) detector or the BlueBox detector might be just as good, and a better alternative for the consumer. The cost of these two detectors are 500 and 160 euro. It is evident that Wildlife Acoustics have tried to meet this competition by producing their own alternative low-budget detector. Its real cost is around 345 US dollars (batteries and SD card excluded).
      The Song Meter Micro detector will be presented in the next number of Fennoscandian Bats, where we also hope to include some test results.


 


 



Tuesday 5 January 2021

European Bat Research Symposium 2020/2021 cancelled
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainties regarding its development this year, the symposium organizers have decided to cancel the conference. There is uncertainties weather the next conference will be in 2023 or 2024.
     
The organizers have decided to replace the conference with a webinar. It will be organized on 4th through 7th of May, just after the other European webinar (organized by Leibniz Institute) has been finished. This means that two events, which traditionally have been complementary, now have become competitors due to the poor timing.
     
For more information and updates on the webinar check their web page www.ebrs2021.fi.


 


 


Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Wednesday 9 December 2020

First Danish wind turbine project ever to be legally stopped due to bats
A wind turbine project at Nørrekær Enge, just south of Limfjorden in Denmark, has included the planning of 36 new wind turbines to the existing ten. The area is close to a Natura 2000 area in which the presence of Pond Bats is one of the reasons the area has been designated special protection.
      A legal committee has withdrawn the construction permit given by the two municipalities involved. The reasons for the withdrawal is that (1)
The environmental report (EIA) is based on incorrect assumptions about the Pond Bat's way of flying and (2) The bat survey made in the area as a part of the EIA, has been insufficient given the size of the project area and the location close to the Natura 2000 site.
      The owner of the project is the energy company Vattenfall, which is 100% owned by the Swedish government. They have trough the project Vindval developed methodology on how to carry out EIA at wind turbine projects. This work is extremely extensive, going on for around 10 years. However, these standards Vattenfall has not applied on their own project abroad.
      More information will be available in the next number of Fennoscandian Bats.


 




The first EIA on bats and wind turbines in Denmark was carried out by Naturopa Consultancies for Just Wind A/S at Barløse in Assens. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Thursday 6 August 2020

Wind farm project stopped in Brittany by French court
The French web site Ouest France reported on 4 August that the Rennes administrative court has just cancelled the decree of 20 November 2017 which authorized the construction of a wind farm on the border between Caro and Monterrein, near Ploërmel (Morbihan).
      The decision was made by the court on 30 July, overturning an earlier construction permit. The construction of 8 turbines, reaching 178 meters in height, has now been stopped due to high biodiversity of bats.
      A total of 16 species had been recorded, and the court agreed that the risk of bat mortality was too high. The wind turbine company’s plan for preventing excessive mortality and monitoring was not sufficient
.


 





Picture show Danish wind turbines. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


4 July 2020

IUCN wish to protect bats from human-spread Corona-virus
On 12th April the IUCN Bat Specialist Group issued recommendations around the suspension of bat fieldwork, where handling bats or entering roosts was involved. The IUCN recommendations were issues to reduce any possibility of transmission of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) from humans to bats. At this time there is a high level of uncertainty about the likelihood of such transmission being possible. The recommendations apply the precautionary principle whilst a group of researchers are undertaking rapid risk assessments and we hope they will share their findings as soon as these are available for each global geographic region (they are starting with North America). (Source: British BCT)


 

 




 


30 June 2020

New European bat species discovered
The Gaisler’s Long-eared Bat Plecotus gaisleri has now been recognized as a European bat species, with a limited distribution in the Mediterranean basin. Published material based on field surveys and molecular analysis has now confirmed the species to occur in Italy (Pantelleria) (Ancillotto et al. 2020) and the islands of Malta and Gozo (Mifsud & Vella 2019).
      This species was described in 2004 using a specimen from north-eastern Libya. It was then dedicated as a subspecies (Plecotus teneriffae gaisleri) to the Canary Long-eared Bat. Earlier this subspecies has been associated to the Brown Long-eared Bat and then the Grey Log-eared Bat. Last it was placed as a subspecies to Mediterranean Long-eared Bat, before it was acknowledged as a separate species.


 

 




A Brown Long-eared Bat in a Norwegian church.. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Saturday 2 May 2020

International renowned bat scientist Thomas Kunz died at age 81
Thomas Henry Kunz, distinguished biologist and Boston University Professor, passed away on 13th of April at the age of 81 due to complications of COVID-19. He had since 2011 spent his time at a nursing home due to brain injuries from a car accident while he attended a conference in Toronto.
      Kunz joined the faculty in the Department of Biology at Boston University in 1971. His research focused on the ecology, behavior, evolution, and conservation biology of bats. He is the author or co-author of more than 280 publications, and edited or coedited six books on the biology and ecology of bats. He was also involved in organizing the 10th International Bat Reserach Conference held in Boston during 1995. The professor was, perhaps, most productive at the age of 73 in 2011, when he coached seven PhD students and active grants from six different agencies.
      If you wish to honor Kunz, you may do so by a donation to the Tom Kunz Endowed Biology Fund. You can find more information here.
     
You can read about his biography at Bosten University. His obituary tells about his life and accomplishements, as well as Wikipedia.
      Best of memories...


 




Thomas Kunz on the field trip during the 10th European Bat Research Symposium in Galliu, Ireland. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Tuesday 28 April 2020

European Bat Detector Workshop has been postponed
The Corona pandemic, and all the society restrictions it has caused, has resulted in that 15th European Bat Research Symposium in Finnish Turku has been postponed till August next year. This means that the 11th European Bat Detector Workshop will also be postponed. This is organized by NIFF, and starts directly after the symposium in Turku.


 



Chris Corben at the Bat Detector Workshop in Lithuania. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Tuesday 28 April 2020

EBRS 2020 postponed to 2021
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic and many uncertainties regarding the developments in the next few months, the conference organizers decided Thursday last week to postpone 15th European Bat Research Symposium until 2021. The new dates are 2. to 6. August 2021.
     
For more information and updates check their web page www.ebrs2020.fi. Pictures from previous EBRS meetings may be viewed here.


 



Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


13 March 2020

6th International Berlin Bat Meeting has been cancelled
The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research originally planned on organizing the 6th International Berlin Bat Meeting during 23-25 March 2020. Unfortunately it has now been cancelled due to the spread of the Corona virus (SARS CoV 2) which may give the desease COVID-19.
      Christian C. Voigt and Tanja Straka announced today in an e-mail:
«We regret to inform you that we had to postpone the upcoming 6th International Berlin Bat Meeting: The human perspective on bats due to the pandemic spread of SARS CoV 2. We are no longer allowed to host conferences in Berlin at this point. We envisage having the conference in March 2021.»
      For more information and updates check their web page www.batlab.de. Pictures from previous meetings may be viewed here.


 


 


Christian C. Voigt during the meeting in 2015. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Saturday 15 February 2020

Neil Middleton publish milestone book
The new book "Is that a bat?" describes sounds we can detect on an ultrasonic detector. That is, all sounds, except those from the bats themselves. There is still a lot of lack in knowledge about the bats' ultrasound. Traditionally we have focused on the animals' search calls, feeding buzzes and commuting calls. This has been the case since the 1980's. But, for example, the animals' social sounds have generally been ignored. This could be males marking territories, or animals arguing in the air. Social bat calls were first highlighted as late as 2014, when Neil Middleton published his book on this topic. So far, Middleton is alone on publishing such a book.
      
However, Neil Middleton has made another step. He has now included all sounds, except bats, in his new book. This is of course very useful, since almost as often we come across sounds we cannot identify. Amphibians, birds, grasshoppers and small rodents can all emit ultrasound on a regular basis. Several of these sounds are species specific. In addition, a number of mechanical sounds may find its way to the detector. All of this can cause confusion when we try to identify our recorded sounds. So the knowledge Middleton conveys in his latest book is absolutely useful to any bat scientist.
      The book is for anyone who works actively with bat sounds, and is strongly recommended. It should be a permanent
inventory of any library dealing with bats.
      The book was published in January, and NIFF was sent a copy by the author this week. NIFF has been mentioned several times, including from the Askim workshop in 2018. More on this comes in the book review which will be included in the
next issue of Fennoscandian Bats.


 

 



Saturday 8 February 2020

Bat trips to see hibernating bats at Mønsted Limestone Mines
In the late 1990s Mønsted started with guided tours to see hibernating bats during February. They offered people tours on both Saturday and Sunday during both winter holiday weekends. These tours were very popular and 50-150 people participated on each tour.
      However, winter is a vulnerable time for bats
since they are in hibernation. Disturbances may significantly reduce the bats' possibility for survival, and thus such activity has generally been taboo. Most serious researchers have rejected such activity. It was therefore controversial when Mønsted started with guided tours during winter. Although only a limited part of the mines are visited, and where relatively few bats have been found, many people have been critical to this practice. When Mønsted opened for winter tours, this inspired other less serious companies to start guiding as well.
      
However, studies from both Mønsted and Thingbæk show that, despite human winter visits, the number of hibernating bats have increased over the years.
      Mønsted limestone mines have two daily tours of the mines during the entire Danish winter holiday
s.


 

 




Over 18.000 bats hibernate in the mines at Mønsted in Danmark. Foto: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


Friday 31 January 2020

11th European Bat Detector Workshop to be organized in Finland 2020
The European Bat Detector Workshop was first organized in the Netherlands during 1991. Since, this workshop has been organized in connection to the European Bat Research Symposium (either just before, or after). This year the 15th European Bat Research Symposium will be organized in Turku during 3-7 August (check our meeting calender at www.batlife.info/meetings/).
      So it is the pleasure of the Nordic Chiroptera Information Center (NIFF)  to invite you to the 11th European Bat Detector Workshop, which will be organized in Kausala, 133 km east of Helsinki.
      The five day (four night) workshop will include peer-reviewed oral presentations, posters, workshops, and sessions for exchanging experience in field practices.

      The aim of the workshop is to get field training in practical bat work, especially the use of various models of both passive and active bat detectors. This will improve our training and knowledge of the latest technology and experience on field identification of flying bats. The mixture of novice and well experienced bat workers (and everything between) enhances the learning process by self awareness and development.
      For more information check our web site www.ebdw.eu.


 

 




An Anabat passive detector with weather box.


Friday 29 November 2019

New «handbook» include all the bats in the world
Volume 9 of the Handbook of Mammals of the World is the latest issue in a book series containing all the mammals in the world. The latest and last volume addresses all the so far 1,400 known species on our planet.
       Each species is covered with text, maps, illustrations and references. According to Lynx publisher, the information should be updated, but NIFF has information that a lot of key knowledge might not be included.
Still, the book is the most comprehensive work on our bats ever published.
       NIFF has received a copy
to be reviewed.
The book review will appear in the next issue of Gudnjoloddi and Fennsocandian Bats.


 





Thursday 31 October 2019

Bird species of the Eurasian steppes will reveal the origin of the Party-colored Bat
The geographic origin of the Party-colored Bat (Vespertilio discolor) has so far been unclear. It has always been presumed that they originated from the steppe regions of South-eastern Europe, north of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Furthermore, it was presumed they foraged in grassland during summer, followed by mating activity and hibernation in mountain areas containing cliffs.
      A new literature study has as objective to review bird species with similar ecological and habitat requirements as the Parti-colored Bat. This study might shead some light to the mystery that has followed this species since the 1800's.
      The study is being carried out by Leif Gjerde from NIFF.


 




31 July 2019

Wildlife Acoustics discontinues the SongMeter 3
The USA based manufacturer Wildlife Acoustics recently announced that from July 2019 their second generation of passive detectors, the SongMeter 3, will be out of production. The SongMeter 3 was originally launched in May 2014 as a new generation of the perfect detector. It was developed based on the experiences from the SM2 detector. However, the SM3 was considerably more expensive and a lot heavier. The size and weight made it impractical for field use. The SM3 lasted only five years.


 




Tuesday 25 June 2019

Increase in number of hibernating bats in Swedish mines due to climate change?
During 1980 to 2017, hibernating bats were montored at three abandoned mines in southern Sweden. Taberg and Kleva mines each have around 1.5 km of accessible passages. Here, a maximum of 517 (Taberg) and 132 (Kleva) bats are recorded, divided on 6 species. Ädelfors is a small mine with only a maximum of 22 individuals.
      The number has been constant for
the Daubenton Bats and Brown Longeared Bat. In contrast, Wiskered Bat, Brandts' Bat and Nathusius' Bat have increased greatly in numbers. The Northern Bat have shown a significant but weak decline.
     
The same trend for the same species has also been demonstrated in continental Europe and the British Isles. This indicates that there is a common cause for the changes in species populations.
The authors are bold enough to suggest that there are climate changes that might cause the changes, without any further evidence of this.

Source
: Jens Rydell, Johan Eklöf, Hans Fransson, and Sabine Lind. 2018. Long-Term Increase in Hibernating Bats in Swedish Mines — Effect of Global Warming? Acta Chiropterologica 20 (2), 421-426. ISSN


 

 



Daubentons Bat inside Romsåsen mines. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


5 May 2019

6th International Berlin Bat Meeting to be organized in March 2020
The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research is organizing the 6th International Berlin Bat Meeting during 23-25 March 2020.
      With this conference, Christian C. Voigt and Tanja Straka would like to foster an exchange of ideas related to «human perspectives on bats». Registration will open early summer. For more information and updates check their web page www.batlab.de.
     
Pictures from previous meetings may be viewed here.


 



Christian C. Voigt during the meeting in 2015. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.


13 December 2018

New bat detector: Titley Scientific launches the Anabat Scout
Our two large manufacturers seem to go separate ways in regards to developing new detectors. While the USA based firm Wildlife Acoustics are discontinuing their production of active detectors for field use, the Australian firm Titley Scientific have chosen to launch yet another active detector for fieldwork. Three years ago they launched «the Walkabout». And this November a new detector was announced,  the Anabat Scout.
      The Anabat Scout is a simpler model compared to the Walkabout, but also at a lower cost. It records in full spectrum, and include heterodyne, auto-heterodyne and frequency division. A built in GPS enables to use it for transects, since the recordings and GPS are both time-stamped. An interesting feature is the inclusion of a bat counter. Sounds of emerging and returning bats can be time stamped by two separate buttons. This is a useful tool when counting emerging bats at colonies. Titley Scientific have been creative when developing this detector, making them the first manufacturer with this feature on a detector.


 


 



1 November 2018

New guidelines: Guidelines for consideration of bats in lighting projects
The authors tried to compile available evidence related to the effect of artificial light at night on the European bats. Based on the current state of knowledge, solutions are proposed concerning possible ways to avoid, mitigate and compensate the adverse effects which lighting projects may have on bats and their functional habitats. The authors also outlined research priorities for future studies, required for in-depth understanding of the problem and assessing efficiency of proposed mitigative measures.
      These guidelines were developed by the EUROBATS Advisory Committee in collaboration with external experts in pursuance of Resolution 7.13 on Implementation of the Conservation and Management Plan.
      NIFF hope to make a book review, which in part will be published here, with more details in the next number of Fennoscandian Bats.


 



31 October 2018

New book: Bat Roosts in Trees
This is a guide to finding tree-roosts. It is the result of the collaborative efforts of professional surveyors and amateur naturalists across Europe as part of the Bat Tree Habitat Key project.
      It is the first time legislation and planning policy have been reviewed and put to practical use to define an analysis framework with clearly identifiable thresholds for action. Yet, despite its efficacy in a professional context, it is also the first time a guide has been produced that is equally effective in achieving its objective for amateurs.
      It is the first time such a method has been evidence-supported throughout, with summary reviews of each aspect of the roosting ecology of the individual 14 tree-roosting species, with illustrative photographs and data to which the reader has open access.
      It is the first time a repeatable analysis framework has been defined against which the surveyor may compare their results at every stage, from the desk-study, through ground-truthing, survey and analysis, thereby ensuring nothing is overlooked and that every result can be objectively compared. The survey and analysis framework itself is ground-breaking in that it may readily be adapted for any taxa; from moths, through amphibians, reptiles, birds and all other mammals.
      NIFF hope to make a book review, which in part will be published here, with more details in the next number of Fennoscandian Bats.


 



30 October 2018

Mating season for Vespertilio murinus has started
This species forage above lakes during summer, and migrate to nearby cities during fall where it mates and hibernate. During the mating season it performs its display flight with a sound audible to most people below 55 in age. Tall buildings are chosen, typically apartment buildings of 9 stories or more. However, industrial buildings, silos, churches, quarries or even natural cliffs may be selected if they are tall enough.
      The stronghold of the species lie in southern Scandinavia (south of Oslo-Stockholm), which include Aarhus and Copenhagen. It is also commonly found in northern Germany. In the rest of Europe it seems to have a patchy distribution. However, the species absence probably reflect the lack of bat workers surveying this species during the fall months, rather then its actual distribution.
      The season starts in September, and last till Christmas if the weather permits. Their display flight may still be observed during 0
ºC and with landscape covered in snow! It is found as far south as Slovenia and Switzerland, and fall records of migratory individuals in the Pyrenees. During recent years it has been reported annually from bat hospitals in the south of England.
     
A web page has been designed for this bats' fall activities. It contains information on the fall distribution of the Parti-colored Bat in Europe, including behaviour and ecology of its display flight. The web page encourages people who study the advertisement calls in this species, to cooperate and share information with the European project. The web page may be viewed at batlife.info.


 







10 September 2018

Helpline with record high of phone calls concerning bats in distress
This summer NIFF reached a record high of phone calls from people who found bats in distress. The reason for this could be many, but this summer was extremely hot and dry with a number of weather records broken. Furthermore, the season seems to have been earlier than normal.
      People send the strangest messages using e-mail, phone or SMS. NIFF's work is done on a volunteer basis, so we have not had the capacity of following up all the calls. The majority of calls we received were from Norway, and most people unfortunately only take contact once.
      Most of the requests refer to juveniles which just learned to fly. We always ask for pictures of the bats, since they give valuable information on species identification and age. The bat on the illustration picture (right) show a juvenile Eptesicus nilssonii, which is aged by its proportional larger head and little grey spot on its crown. Photo from 21 July.


 



10 August 2018

Bat Call Reference Library Collection Trip in Trøndelag
During the 10th European Bat detector Workshop in Biddarai (the Basque Country) in 2017, there was established a working group whose aim was to standardize methods for collecting bat calls in the field. Special focus was on (1) developing microphone standards, (2) establishing a bat call reference library and (3) enabling inexpensive high quality detectors and microphones.
      In connection to this work, five people joined a post-workshop expedition to Trøndelag (Central Norway) during
6. to 9. of August. Chris Corben (USA/Australia), Leif Gjerde and Arnold Andreasson participated as specialists from the working group, while Laura Alsina (Spain) and Angel Iglesias (Catalonia) also joined.
     
Three colonies were visited on three separate days to collect calls from emerging bats. Also the surrounding habitats were visited. The species were from known colonies of Myotis brandtii, Myotis mystacinus and Eptesicus nilssonii, making species identification safe for the calls collected. Furthermore, no nearby colonies exist of any confusing species.
      The results from the trip will be included in the Proceedings. More details will also be included in the next number of
Fennoscandian Bats. A photo gallery will eventually be available on www.batlife.info.


 



 



6. August 2018

3rd European Alpine Bat Detector Workshop organized in Askim, Norway
A handful of people from 9 countries participated during the 3rd European Alpine Bat Detector Workshop which was organized in Askim (South-Eastern Norway) during 2. - 6. August 2018. This series of workshops were first organized in Trenta (Slovenia) during 2012, followed by the second in Vercors (France) in 2015. So this years workshop was the beginning of a new tradition, with the third of its kind.
      The workshop was organized by Leif Gjerde and Arnold Andreasson, both from NIFF, who were responsible for the program. The aim of the workshop was to provide field training in practical bat work, especially with the use of various models of both passive and active bat detectors.
     
The results from the workshop will be included in the Proceedings. More details will also be included in the next number of Fennoscandian Bats. A photo gallery will eventually be available on www.batlife.info.


 







22 March 2018

10th Anniversary of the European Bat Detector Workshops
In 1991 it was taken initiative to organize the 1st European Bat Detector Workshop, which was held in the Netherlands. This was the beginning of a new tradition of organizing a detector workshop just prior or after the EBRS, either in the same or a neighbouring country.
      During the European Bat Research Symposium in Kroatia in 2014 the workshop had been ignored, making it necessary with a last minute get-together after the symposium, with only a handful people. This barely saved the 9th EBDW. However, it was with delight when during the last day of the Croatian symposium that the organizer of the next symposium in Donostia explicitly stated that they would also organize the 10th European Bat Detector Workshop. However, this did not happen. So NIFF and Bluebat took the initiative to organize the 10th workshop in Bidarrai. Now the structure of planning and organizing these workshops have been changed to prevent future fall-outs.
      The Spaniard Juan Tomás Alcalde was a participant in the Netherlands 26 years earlier, and rejoined the anniversary workshop in 2017 (see illustration picture right). The photo gallery from the workshop is now available on www.batlife.info/gallery/.


 



 



18 January 2018

3rd European Alpine Bat Detector Workshop
Askim (Norway) 2.-6. August 2018
I
t is the pleasure of the Nordic Chiroptera Information Center (NIFF)  to inviting you to the 3rd European Alpine Bat Detector Workshop, which will be organized in Askim (South-Eastern Norway) during 2. - 6. August 2018. The area is located only 55 km from downtown Oslo and 37 km from the Swedish border.
      The European Alpine Bat Research Symposium was first organized in Trenta (Slovenia) during 2012, followed by the second in Vercors (France) in 2015. Thus, this years workshop is the beginning of a new tradition, with the third of its kind.
      The aim of the workshop is to get field training in practical bat work, especially the use of various models of both passive and active bat detectors. Registration is open. So if you wish to join the historical event, you can equire more information here: www.ebdw.eu.


 





8 January 2018

2nd Social Calls of Bats Conference
Edinburgh (Scotland) 26th & 27th April 2018
A two day conference will be organized outside Edinburgh (Scotland) on the 26th and 27th of April. A total of 10 specialists from England and Europe will be present talks about social calls in bats
. For more information check the BatAbility web page.
      This conference is the second of its kind in Europe, and is organized by Neil Middleton, Keith French, Andrew Froud, and supported by Echoes Ecology Ltd. The conference is a follow up of the book Social Calls of Britain and Ireland,  which was published in 2014.
      A photo gallery from the first conference may be viewed here at batlife.info.

 




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