30 March 2020
We need your spring observations
Spring has finally arrived
and the hepatica is already
blooming a number of places in southern Scandinavia.
approaches we are working on updating and improving our web-pages on phenology.
Much of its
content is based on submitted observations from members and other nature
Tips on new observations, including unidentified bats, are of
interest. The results are published on our phenology
phenology pages are constantly updated and improved.
designing a new lay-out
more practical and comprehensive content.
Saturday 8 February 2020
Bat trips to see hibernating bats at
Mønsted Limestone Mines
the late 1990s
guided tours to see hibernating bats
They offered people tours on both Saturday and Sunday during both winter holiday
weekends. These tours were very popular and 50-150
However, winter is a vulnerable time for bats
since they are in hibernation.
significantly reduce the bats'
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
only a limited part of the mines are
visited, and where
relatively few bats have been found, many
been critical to this practice.
for winter tours, this inspired other
less serious companies to start guiding as well.
studies from both Mønsted
and Thingbæk show that, despite human winter visits, the number of
increased over the years.
limestone mines have two daily tours of the mines during the entire Danish
Over 18.000 bats hibernate in the mines at Mønsted in Danmark. Foto: Leif
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
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
For more information check our web site
An Anabat passive detector with weather box.
Tuesday 17 December 2019
tips on winter observations
Now as winter has approached, most bats have gone into
hibernation. Depending of species and location, the hibernation period lasts at
the most from September to May. Even during mild winters, bats will remain
absent from the foraging sites. It is not the air temperature itself that
regulate bat activity, but the availability of insects. Many years ago Jens
Rydell studied the flight activity of the Northern Bat, in relation to
temperture. The insect activity was correlated by the current air
temperature. Below 6°C there were no activity,
while temperature above 10°C reflected full insect and bat activity.
Bats may forage all year, if there is prey to
find. During fall and spring, southern slopes may have favorable local climate
for insects and bats. Also water temperature might be important, since insects
may hatch from water bodies when air temperature is well below
10°C, far into the fall. Southern Sweden
(Götaland), Southwestern Norway and the entire Denmark may have foraging bats
during early spring, already in March. Furthermore, the Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio
discolor) may start its display flight near tall building structures during
all winter months, when evening temperature reaches above 4-5°C.
NIFF encourages people to report any bat activity
during the winter months, since this data is scarse and important. Both bats in
flight and hibernating individuals are both of interest.
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
a book series containing
in the world.
volume addresses all the
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 is not included. Still, the book is the most
comprehensive work on our bats ever
NIFF has received a copy
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
28 August 2019
The phenology stations
Now all the phenology stations
are located at Rye (Jutland), Dronninglund (Jutland), Taberg, Köla (Vestra
Värmland), Askim, Lillestrøm and Østensjøvannet (Oslo).
The stations at Frederikshavn and Djursland were not deployed
for practical reasons. The site at Hovdala was not used
because the area is not suitable for a phenology station.
An area nearby has been found to be relevant and will be
detectors are programmed to
record autumn activity of
bats in flight. This will show
how fall activity
decreases as access to insects disappears and bats
The most functional passive bat detector ever is the SongMeter 2, which
is used in this study whenever possible.
24 July 2019
Regional differences in
food preferences is
A Finnish research group seeks to collect bat
the Nordic region.
The study attempts to investigate the impact of regional differences
on the reproduction and diet of bats.
Differences between northern and southern conditions
The research group wants to use molecular methods to investigate
how the bats feed and how the occurrence of food correlates with the bats'
22 July 2019
Important to label your passive detectors
with the owner's name is
important to get them back if
they ever get lost.
During a visit to Sostrup Castle in September 2018, we were
informed that an AnaBat Express was found from the NOVANA project in 2015. After
it now seems the detector
is finally coming back to it
real owner. This
how important it is to mark all field equipment with
name and contact
be found in the next issue of Fennoscandin Bats and Gudnjoloddi.
Sostrup Castle on Jutland. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.
Tuesday 25 June 2019
number of hibernating
bats in Swedish mines due to climate change?
1980 to 2017, hibernating
bats were montored
at three abandoned mines in
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
Ädelfors is a small mine with only a maximum of 22 individuals.
The number has been constant for
the Daubenton Bats
and Nathusius' Bat
have increased greatly in numbers.
shown a significant but weak decline.
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.
are bold enough to suggest that there are climate changes that
might cause the
changes, without any further
evidence of this.
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.
Thursday 25 February 2019
Bats get more opportunities to find food in Sydthy
Agency has just begun to restore natural water level conditions at Hvidbjerg
Plantation in Thy.
natural lakes and waterholes make it easier for bats to find food.
During April, the Danish Nature Agency will restore
natural water level conditions near Bodbjerg Sande and Lillehav.
It provides new wetland areas of just under 60 hectares
distributed between the two areas.
More specifically, this means that almost five
kilometers of previously excavated ditches are covered with the previously
excavated soil from the edges of the ditches. This
which till now
lead the water away from
the area, and
of water to enhance the
found in the next issue of Fennoscandin Bats and Gudnjoloddi.
Nathusius Pipistrell migrate accross
Kvarken to Sweden during fall
In recent years,
researchers have assumed that the Nathusius Pipistrell, migrate across Kvarken
from Finland to Sweden during fall. Now they found evidence by radio tracking.
The life of mammals in Finland is generally well documented, but the bats
constitute an exception. The biologists recently solved a riddle since they had
to confirm that the Nathusius Pipistrell migrate accross Kvarken to Sweden
during the fall. Their flight route goes via the Valsörarna to Holmögadd.
The researchers have investigated migrating bats at Valsörarna's
Biological Station for five years. By capturing Nathusius Pipistrell and
attaching a small radio transmitter to them, it has been possible to document
the migration route. Nathusius Pipistrell are no larger than a matchbox and they
only weigh 5–10 grams, but they move 2,000 kilometers to winter in Western
Europe, says Metsähallitus.
More information can be found in the next issue of Fennoscandin Bats and
Trollpipistrell. Foto: Francois Schwaab.
Indre Fosen municipality reported to Police and Norwegian Food Safety Authority
according to law on animal welfare
A message of concern is forwarded to Police and the District
Food Safety Authority)
since the municipality is planning on demolishing buildings at
Rissa. At one of these
buildings there have been recorded emerging bats, and it is unknown if the bats
still occupy the building.
The law on animal welfare (Dyrevelferdsloven) state in
person who believe that animals are exposed to abuse or serious destruction
of environment, supervision and care, shall as urgently as possible alert
Norwegian Food Safety Authority or Police.»
NIFF have contacted a number of persons in the
municipality, but it is case worker Stian Fallrø at the planning department who
make decisions concerning inspection of the buildings involved for demolition.
NIFF sent an application on 26 June to survey the building for bats, and 138
days later (4,5 months) a reply has still not been received. Therefore, the
Parliamentary Ombudsman have been contacted to force the municipality to reply.
Indre Fosen municipality is
already known for the colony of Whiskered Bats (Myotis mystacinus)
located in Hoven old school building. At Hoven a number of laws and regulations
were ignored in connection to the improvement of the road between Vanvikan and
Leksvik. All vegetation around the colony was removed for several hundred
meters, and the landscape changed, all with the blessing of the municipality.
This is the most serious environmental crime committed on bats in Norway during
recent years. This colony is the northern most known maternity roost in Norway,
and maybe in the whole world.
NIFF initiates an audit of the
administration to Mære church and Dalen chapel (Romerike, Norway)
On 6. July NIFF discovered
that a large portion of the trees on the edge of Mære church (Enebakk
municipality) were removed to the north towards the river and west (towards the
golf court. In a conversation with the church administration it was revealed
that the motivation was to make the church more visible in the landscape, making
it more apparent for the golfers. However, this church has hosted a colony of
Brown Long-eared Bats since the mid 1990's, or longer.
Furthermore, another church was also discovered
during 9 October where all the church yard trees had been removed. Dalen chapel
had a large stands of trees belonging to several species, leaving behind an open
area with no taller vegetation. This church also had a colony of Brown
Long-eared Bats for several decades.
A well established fact is that Long-eared Bats
are dependent on vegetation between the church and its foraging sites, since the
bat only flies after dark in the cover of vegetation. These two churches are
located in Enebakk and Fet municipalities, on each side of the lake Øyeren, just
east of Oslo.
Using public access laws and the Aarhus
convention allowing access to environmental information, NIFF is now staring an
audit to reveal what really happened and who is responsible. If any laws were
broken, NIFF will recommend to the local police that the responsible people will
Phenology stations diploid
Today most of the phenology
stations were diploid. These are AnaBat Express detectors which register fall
activity of foraging bats as the season becomes more unfavourable for insect
prey, forcing the bats to hibernate. The detectors are located in Norway and
Sweden. Unfortunately our economy didn't allow us to deploy the Danish stations.
We hope for the future to involve more local bat workers to deploy and service
our detectors. In addition to the phenology stations covering foraging habitats,
a detector has been placed at Romsås in Oslo. This station register
Parti-colored Bats during the start of the display season which lasts from
September till December.
Help line with record high of phone calls concerning
bats in distress
This summer we reached a record high of
phone calls from people who found bats in distress. Most of the calls 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.
Double standards concerning management of bats at Sørum visiting ranch (Leira)
Sørum Fritidsgård is a riding school owned
and managed by Skedsmo municipality, located just outside Lillestrøm. Some parts
of the ranch property is preserved as a nature reserve, while other parts are
designated as areas of recreation. The areas are located next to the oxbow lake
Stilla, which is a part of the riverplains of Leira.
The area contains a high species diversity of
bats, including high numbers of foraging Parti-colored Bats, Northern Bats, and
Norway's hot spot for Noctules. This area was also visited this August during
the evening trips to the 3rd European Alpine Bat Detector Workshop.
A number of bat boxes have been hung up in the
forest connected to the Sørum ranch. Sørum Fritidsgård have also posted a board,
informing the importance of the bat boxes since they replace the lack for roost
trees in the area. However, Sørum Fritidsgård just removed a huge birch and a
number of aspen trees just a few meters from the poster, informing that trees
are important to bats. These trees were just reaching an age and dimension
making it possible for birds, bats and other animals to nest in them, being
important for wildlife for at least the next 50-80 years.
NIFF has asked for an explanation from Elin
Heistad (manager for Sørum Fritidsgård) to why the trees have been removed, and
underlined the importance for developing a management plan of the area where
nature should have first priority.
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.
(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
Bats. A photo gallery will eventually be available on
European Alpine Bat Detector Workshop organized in
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
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
Leira river plains surveyed for bats
The riverplains to the river Leira were
surveyed during 24. May to 3 June. A total of 8 transects and 25.6 km were
surveyed by foot. The same area was last surveyed 25 years ago. However, the
Leira area is frequently visited during various excursions or specific projects
every year, but this is the first time since 1993 that the entire area has been
surveyed systematically. Most of the work was carried out this summer, but two
transects still remain. So the work will be finished off next summer, when we
hope to add some new transects in the north and east of the area.
The Romsås-project presented at the Edinburgh-conference
The Second Social Calls of Bats Conference was organized
during 26. and 27. April in Edinburgh, Scotland. Leif Gjerde from NIFF was
invited, presenting the talk «Applying bird census techniques
to survey bat
territories of Vespertilio murinus».
The talk presented experiences from
the Parti-colored Bat at Romsås, using techniques used by ornithologists since
the mid 1900's.