Bats are protected by law but nevertheless all the different species are in serious danger of extinction. They have already disappeared from some locations. These animals provide proof that legal protection alone is not enough, wide-scale conservation projects are needed too.
Bats form the second largest group of mammals and are the only mammals capable of active flight. Their scientific name is chiroptera (i.e., flying hand). They can be found on every continent except the Antarctic and there are 900 different species worldwide. Throughout Europe there are 31 species.
In urban areas bats not only occupy the masonry of houses but will also settle in large, undisturbed roof spaces. One that is commonly found in houses is the Greater Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis myotis). Trees are the preferred habitat of the Bechstein`s Bat (Myotis bechsteinii). Woodland-dwelling bats include the Noctule (Nyctalus noctula).
Bats fulfil an important function in the biological control of insect pests since they need to eat a great deal.
Studies have shown that during the course of a summer each large bat will consume up to a kilo of insects, which amounts to half a million insects.
According to the Russian zoologist Korskof, a single Daubenton’s Bat (Myotis daubentonii) will consume approximately 60.000 mosquitoes between 15 May and 15 October.