Due to the increased interest for bats in Norway NIFF was founded during May 1997. The objectives of NIFF are to:

      ● map and monitor bat populations,
      ● work with measures enhancing the protection of bats and their environment,
      ● distribute information to the general public and management authorities.

Today NIFF contain around 207 members and 6 regional bat groups. The members have a wide background, and include school  children, teachers, house owners, management, librarians, translators, students and scientists. We publish a bulletin named Gudnjoloddi which is published biannual between seasons (spring and fall, with English abstracts) and a newsletter named Leðrblaka Express (in Scandinavian). Several bat groups have their own internal newsletters.

Fennoscandian Bats contains information on bats, bat research and management in Fennoscandia and Denmark. It is published bi-anually in English. The newsletter is available free upon subscription. Older numbers are made available on our web-page.

Do you wish to join us or give us bat observations sampled in one of the Nordic countries, please do not hesitate to contact us.




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  Last updated documents:
24. February 2022 (main page)
12. February 2022 (main page)
21. January 2022 (main page)
8. January 2022 (main page)
24. December 2021 (main page)

Recent News
Nordic bats and bat related research

Saturday 19 February 2022

Newspapers speculate on illegal photo use  
Newspapers always have a great need for picture illustrations for their articles. As soon as the newspaper uses pictures from other than permanent employees, it costs them quite a lot. From 1000 to several thousand kroner for each picture. It has therefore been the practice of many editors to only "borrow" images without permission. The risk of being caught is quite small and they are never prosecuted legally. The only consequence is that they have to pay for the picture. In practice, this means double the price of the image.
      The newspaper Avisa Valdres used an image taken from NIFF's website in connection with the publication of an article on 13 October 2015 about rabies found on a bat in Valdres. It was editor Ivar Brynildsen who then made the decision to use the image. Today's editor (Hilde Havro) corrected the photo information directly while NIFF was on the phone with her. They could have fixed this earlier after one of several previous inquiries. At the same time, the newspaper's magazine editor Torbjørn Moen expressed that he thought they had not done anything wrong, despite the fact that they were caught red-handed!
      Read more about the case in the next issue of Fennoscandian Bats.



This picrure was used without permission. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Saturday 12 February 2022

The Norwegian Government is investing in wind turbines in the North Sea  
On 9 February, the Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre presented the plan to establish the Southern North Sea with floating wind turbines. The first phase of the project (Sørlige Nordsjø II) will establish turbines with production capacity of 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 anually, bats appear on oil drilling platforms in the North Sea. Most recently was during the autumn of 2019 when two discoveries of Nathusius Pipistrelle was made on the Ula platform.
      Knowledge of migratory bats moving across the North Sea is limited
. As of today no environmental impact assessments (EIA) have been carried out in this area, despite this is required by a number of Norwegian environmental protection laws and the European bat agreement.


. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Saturday 22 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.

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.

Friday 24 December 2021

Entry forms had "bats" as a transport alternative
The Norwegian tabloid newspaper Verdens Gang (VG) reported on Thursday last week, that the entry form everyone must fill out before entering Norway on entrynorway.com, shows the word bat as a travel alternative when listing means of transport. The website is administered by the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning. They tell VG that an error occurs when translating "båt" (=boat) as a means of transport. It is the translation program on the browser that misinterprets the word båt as the English word bat, which means bat.
      The online journal Urett Forvaltning has monitored the authorities' follow-up of border crossings during the corona pandemic. Jan-Erik Ask from Urett Forvaltning can tell us that the travel form is incomplete and leaves no room for comments. This forces the traveler to fill in incomplete, incorrect or misleading information which may later have legal consequences for the traveler, e.g.
in the form of high fines as punishment.



Police border control at Morokulien in Hedmark, Norway. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Sunday 29 August 2021

Data for new phenology stations included on our web-pages
During recent years NIFF have developed an extensive web-page on bat phenology. In addition to early and late spring/fall observations, the web page also include weather data from representative areas of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
      From this fall, we have included some new stations. These include
Trodla-Tysdal (representing Norways' southwest coastline and fjords), Tynset (representing an inland continental climate), Bardufoss and Tana (representing the northern-most distribution of the Northern Bat.


Trodla-Tysdal i Ryfylket. Foto: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Monday 9 August 2021

The fall is approaching, initiating phenology studies
This fall's studies on bat fouraging activity has been initiated. The pipistrell species migrate, and may disappear from Eastern Norway and Svealand already in mid-August. The migration to this genus can last until October. At the same time, the hunting activity of all bat species is greatly reduced from the turn of the month August/September in the same area. In Norrland, Trøndelag and northern Norway, the frost may start as early as the end of August.
      The challenge also this season will be the border crossing from Sweden or Denmark, back to Norway. Traveling to these countries to deploy and maintain the detectors is unproblematic. However, the return is always uncertain due to different practice of rules between police officers. This can lead to extra time and costs for NIFF, as it is the business manager from Norway who carries out most of the work.


Police border control at Morokulien in Hedmark, Norway. Many have criticized the strict control to be in violating of both the Norwegian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Monday 5 July 2021

Summer foraging activity surveyed in Rogaland Arboretum
Rogaland Arboretum has since the end of the 1990's been used for experimenting with new bat box models. The arboretum has a high number of Soprano Pipistrelles during fall. Many bird boxes were occupied by male bats and their harems. Since 1998, a various of bat box models have been tested against occupancy of these bats.
      Despite the ongoing projects at the arboretum, a summer survey has never been carried out on foraging bats, a survey is also important since it will open the possibility for bat walks during summer.
      This summer the arboretum was surveyed during three nights. The first night (28 June) by walking a 4.98 km transect, followed by point counts on 29. June, and deployment of detectors on 3. July.



Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Batlife Sweden and Batlife Sweden is not the same organization
Until recently, Sweden did not have its own bat association. Baywork has been carried out by researchers and consultants. Organizations like the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation have worked with bats on a project basis. Furthermore, Ingemar Ahlén's identification literature is published through the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and its youth organization. They also run Taberg mines where they have a permanent bat exhibition and organize tours in the mines.
      In May 2004, NIFF changed from being a Norwegian to a Nordic association. The domain names fladdermus.se, fladdermöss.se and batlife.se were all bought in 2004. The domains got their own web hotels in 2006, when the Fladdermusföreningen in Värmland was also established and at the same time got its own web page.
      Today, the Bat Association in Sweden (Fladdermusföreningen i Sverige) is affiliated with the Nordic Chiroptera Information Center (NIFF), and with Batlife Sweden as the English name of the association. This is not the same association organized by Johnny de Jong and Cecilia Wide. In 2019, they established an association with the same name, without contacting NIFF or investigating the situation in Sweden.




Bat excursion in Värmland in 2007 and 2018.
Photoz: 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 Gudnoloddi and 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.

Thursday 18 March 2021

EuroBats celebrate 30 years
This year it is 30 years since the European Bats Agreement was signed. EUROBATS is the name of the administration that ensures that the agreement is followed up. They are located in Bonn (Germany) where the secretariat is working for the contracting parties.
      NIFF is now preparing to summarize how the Nordic countries (excluding Iceland) have followed up on the content of the agreement.
The result will be presented in the December issue of Fennoscandian Bats.


Sunday 14 March 2021

New web-page gather information on all past European Bat Research Symposiums
Today, the website www.ebrs.date was launched with information about previous and upcoming European Bat Research Symposiums.
      EBRS was first organized in 1978, and has since been followed up by a conference every three years. The organizers of each symposium have their own individual solutions with a web page that will inform about the upcoming or ongoing conference. Unfortunately, these web pages eventually disappear, making the information from and about the conference difficult to track down. Information about location, content, organizer and published material (such as the Abstract Book) is from many symposia practically impossible to trace after a few years.
      The aim of the new web page is to make the information easily accessible long after the organizer's web pages have been closed down. Furthermore, the date and organizer of upcoming conferences can be found at www.ebrs.date. This allows potential participants to easier find the upcomming conference web-page when it is launched, and avoid unnecessary constant search for a conference web-page before it has been published.



From the EBRS in Donostia in 2017. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Wednessday 10 March 2021

No monitoring of spring phenology in 2021
We have had some operating problems with our detectors from Titley Scientific. At the same time our government led by  Erna Solberg have posted unreasonable demands concerning the Covid-19 pandemic. We have therefore decided to cancel the project this spring.
      Since we purchased the AnaBat Express detectors, we have experienced inconsistency in their reliability. Without warning, individual detectors seem to malfunction. The problems seem to vary, and so does which detector might be involved. In general one of the ten seem to randomly have this problem.
      The cause of these problems are unknown, but we suspect cheap components installed during production might be a contributing factor. Regardless, these results in that we always need to expect that one or two detectors mal-function during deployment, with the risk of loosing valuable data.
      All the detectors will again be tested for any obvious problems.



Sunday 28 February 2021

International bat research project threatened by police's clumsy border control
In recent years, the idealistic organizarion Nordic Chiroptera Information Center (NIFF) has developed a network of automatic stations that each spring and autumn collect data on bat activity as the weather becomes milder or colder, depending on which season. With the implementation of Norwegian (and partly Swedish) rules, after the Covid-19 pandemic started in February last year, the situation has required increased justification of a long-term Scandinavian phenology study. The main problem, however, is not the regulations, but that the authorities (police, customs, military) who control the borders on behalf of the national governments, are inconsistent in their interpretations and implementation of the law. This leads to more work and increased costs for volunteer work, with the risk of jeopardizing a multi-year research project on climate.


Swedish police at the border control in Eda, Värmland. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

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 Gudnoloddi and Fennoscandian Bats.


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

Thursday 4 February 2021

4th EABDW i Edinburgh has been cancelled
The fourth European Alpine Bat Detector Workshop was scheduled to take place in Edinburgh this September. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the practical problems that followed, have resulted in this year's workshop in Edinburgh has been canceled. We are working on another location this September, alternatively it will be organized in Scotland next year.
More information can be found here.


Here, the Anabat Walkabout is tested at the 2nd EABDW in Vercors, France. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Tuesday 19 January 2021

11th European Bat Detectors Workshop has been cancelled
Due to the cancellation of the European Bat Research Symposium in Turku (Finland), there is no point to organize the workshop.
      These workshops have been organized in conjunction with the European Bat Research Symposiums (EBRS) every three years since 1991. By organizing a training course just before or after the conference, it made it possible for people to combine their travel. Furthermore, the workshop has served as an extended part of the conference.
The next workshop will be held at the next European Bat Research Symposium, provided that EBRS is not organized as a webinar.


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

Friday 15 January 2021

NIFF celebrates its 25th anniversary
NIFF was founded in May 1997. It was a result of the bat groups at Jæren, Romerike and in Tydal (Trøndelag) were established. Strictly speaking, NIFF is 25 years old in May 2022, but 2021 is the 25th year of operation. We will thus mark the anniversary with information about our history.
At the same time, the European Bats Agreement is 30 years old, and we will mark the Scandinavian authorities’ lack of commitment through a number of serious violations. This also includes discrimination and bullying of our organization which involves the Zoological Museum in Copenhagen, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Directorate for Nature Management in Norway.


From the bat meeting at Rogaland Arboretum in 2003. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

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.

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Windless for the Norwegian wind power industry
Norway is at least 10 years behind Europe in both bat research and following regulations when new wind turbines are being established. There has been great political consent to use wind energy as "green energy". However, slow management and negligence at the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Agency (NVE) and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (OED) have led to increasing criticism of the management authorities for negligence and violation of responsibilities when processing cases.
      NIFF has increasingly focused on the wind power industry, and feel now the need to follow up after many years of the industry ignoring regulations and international agreements. At the same time, the opposition is growing with the association Motvind as the most important single player. In less than a year, they have gathered over 17,935 members.
      NIFF has now decided to focus more on the wind power industry and its opportunities as well as threats to bat populations.



In many areas bats are more at risk than birds for collitions with wind turbines. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Thursday 27 August 2020

Hot spots for bats being mapped in Sweden
Important foraging sites have previously been mapped in Norway by NIFF, and in Denmark through the Danish monitoring project NOVANA. Three criteria determine the importance of an area. (1) High numbers of foraging bats, (2) high species diversity and (3) seasonal activity.
      High numbers of flying bats indicate the importance for bat populations. The number of species is a practical measure for conservation. Bat activity throughout the summer season is useful for the individual batworker to know how likely it is to find bats at every visit. So every star is a measure for how important the locality is. Traditionally, NIFF has marked such places from one to three stars.
      Batlife Sweden has now begun to map potential foraging areas throughout Sweden. Areas where phenology stations are located are prioritized. This includes three areas in Svealand and four areas in Götaland. All locations that are identified as interesting will eventually be visited for surveys, where we start with areas in Värmland.



Hovdala is an important bat locality for foraging bats. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Sunday 9 August 2020

The Norwegian police forward phone calls to NIFF's bats help line
An amusing incident was experienced today. A caller had found a dislocated bat at Tunnsjøen in Aurskog-Høland, almost on the border with Fet municipality (Eastern Norway). When the animal was found, it was helpless on the ground. This often happens since pups can easily get lost after they collide into something or fall down when learning to fly. To preserve energy, it is common for bats to lower their body temperature during summer as well. This means that they often cannot fly even if they are not injured.
      The caller tried to get hold of the local wildlife authority (Viltnemnda) by calling the police's ordinary telephone number 64 993000. Neither the local wildlife authority nor Fet municipality exist anymore, but the police in the so-called Police District East (not Finnmark, but Follo police station) found NIFF's telephone number and diverted the callers' numbers, via the police station, to us.



Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Saturday 18 July 2020

New information center for bats opens on Bornholm
Later this year, the Danish nature agency Naturstyrelsen will inaugurate a new information center for bats in Rø plantation on Bornholm. With an information center on Bornholm, Naturstyrelsen  hope to spread knowledge of bats for the benefit of school students, scout troops, nature-interested tourists and people from Bornholm.
      The information center will be located to an old dilapidated, thatched building atplantation - also called Borgedalslængen - where a colony of Brown Long-eared Bats has settled in the attic. To save the colony's habitat, parts of the building are being renovated, while other parts are to be demolished. In order to disturb the bat colony as little as possible, demolition and repairs are adapted to the bats' annual cycle.

      The information center will be set up on the ground floor of the building and will house an exhibition about the bats' ecology, and it will be possible to follow life in the attic via an infrared camera.



The building where the information center is to be located at plantation on Bornholm. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

Tuesday 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.
      In Norwegian and Danish NIFF has suggested the name berberlangøre, in Swedish berberlångöra. The names become valid if no remarks are received within 1. November.



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

Saturday 10 June 2020

Finnish bat atlas published
In November, the journal Annales Zoologici Fennici published an atlas of bats in Finland. A task that took 5 years to complete.
      The sources for the atlas are museum collections, publications, databases and unpublished material. From a species diversity of six 150 years ago, a total of 13 species of bats have now been registered in Finland. Five species are considered regular. These are Eptesicus nilssonii, Myotis brandtii, M. daubentonii, M. mystacinus and Plecotus auritus. Two more species have been found with maternity wards.
      The atlas is based on 11,234 observations, of which 9,717 are identified species. As many as 89% of these are from the period 1993-2014.
The atlas covers 25% of all 10x10 km UTM routes.


Saturday 30 May 2020

Brown Long-eared Bat is said to be red listed due to light pollution
This is the first time Plecotus auritus has been red listed in Sweden. According to the website fladdermus.net, this species was until recently quite common and occurred in every church. But the website claims that lighting outside churches during night does not coincide with biodiversity. For the animals, this is apparently a disaster because the bats seem to leave such churches. It is further claimed that this species has declined from many areas. In Skåne (Skania), it seems to be heading towards extinction. According to fladdermus.net, light also kills bats. In addition, they conclude that this species has been red listed due to light pollution.


Royal Astronomical Society, from Wikipedia.

Sunday 10 May 2020

New Norwegian regulation on rehabilitation of injured and dislocated bats
From 1 April, a new Norwegian regulation came into force which covers injured or dislocated bats. It states that anyone who encounters game that is obviously sick, injured or helpless should, as far as possible, help the animal on the spot in accordance with the provisions on the duty to help in the Animal Welfare Act. Sick or damaged game can be taken care of for rehabilitation, if the game can be returned to its natural environment within a short time, and then to the same area where it was originally found. The care shall take place in consultation with a veterinarian, and immediately notify the Norwegian food safety authority (Mattilsynet).
      The Game Regulations replace four regulations that were adopted in the period 1997-2004.



Barbastell in Larvik, Norway. 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.

Saturday 25 April 2020

New Swedish governmental red list on bats
SLU Artdatabanken presented this April their red data list conclusion made with some selected scientists. The concept of Red Data Lists was developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as a measure for what threats various species are under.
    On this version of the list the following species have been included: Barbastella barbastellus (NT), Eptesicus nilssonii (NT), E. serotinus (NT), Myotis alcathoe (EN), M. bechsteinii (EN), M. dasycneme (NT), M. myotis (EN), M. nattereri (NT), Nyctalus leislerii (VU), Pipistrellus pipistrellus (VU), Plecotus auritus (NT) och P. austriacus (CR). Four species have been removed from the list. New species since the 2015 red list are E. nilssonii (NT), M. myotis (EN) and P. auritus (NT).
      The list has been concluded by Ingemar Ahlén and Johnny de Jong.


Photo: Eva Kvandal.


Saturday 4 April 2020

The phenology stations have been deployed
During the past two weeks, our phenology stations have been deployed around Scandinavia. They will record spring activity of foraging bats to show how spring activity increases as access to insects increases and bats become active. The detectors are located at Vendsyssel (2), Søhøjlandet in Central Jutland (Midtjylland), Skania (Skåne), the South Swedish highlands, Vestra Värmland, Østfold, Romerike and Oslo.
The detectors will collect data until May/June. Some detectors are checked several times during spring, in which the data will be presented on www.flaggermus.no/fenologi. The remaining detectors will stay unattended, making this data available after the season.
       Follow our phenology page for continuous updates on weather conditions and bats activity during the spring (in Scandinavian).
The results will also be presented in the spring issue of Gudnjoloddi.



Monday 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. As spring 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 enthusiasts. Tips on new observations, including unidentified bats, are of interest. The results are published on our phenology pages.
      Our phenology pages are constantly updated and improved.
We are designing a new lay-out with more practical and comprehensive content.



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



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

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Dramatic decline for northern serotine in Sweden
Four scientists monitored northern bats along a 27 km using road transects at weekly intervals. The work was carried out in 1988, 1989 and 1990, and repeated with same methods under equal conditions in 2016 and 2017. The major change was that mercury-vapor street-lights along parts the stretch were replaced with sodium lights. The results from the areas with and without street lights were analyzed separately. For non-illuminated areas the calculated theoretical decline was 3.0 % per year during the period.
      The authors state that their results prove a reduction of bat abundance rather then changed foraging strategy moving away from roads. They refer to another study on Gotland where similar results have been observed. The authors boldly conclude that a general population decline has occurred, and suggest this species to be included as vulnerable or endangered in the Swedish national red list of threatened species.



Northern Bat (Eptesicus nilssonii). Photo: Inge Åsheim.

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.

Tuesday 17 December 2019

NIFF need 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.




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 is not included. Still, the book is the most comprehensive work on our bats ever

       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.



Wednesday 28 August 2019

The phenology stations have been deployed
Now all the phenology stations have been deployed. They 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 further investigated in 2020.
The 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 eventually hibernate.


The most functional passive bat detector ever is the SongMeter 2, which is used in this study whenever possible.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Regional differences in food preferences is to be studied
A Finnish research group seeks to collect bat droppings throughout 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 will also be investigated. The research group wants to use molecular methods to investigate how the bats feed and how the occurrence of food correlates with the bats' reproductive period.




Monday 22 July 2019

Important to label your passive detectors
Labeling 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 three years missing, it now seems the detector is finally coming back to it real owner. This illustrates how important it is to mark all field equipment with owners name and contact information.
      More information may be found in the next issue of Fennoscandin Bats and Gudnjoloddi.



Sostrup Castle on Jutland. Photo: Leif Yngve Gjerde.

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.
: 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
The Danish Nature Agency has just begun to restore natural water level conditions at Hvidbjerg Plantation in Thy. More 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
prevents drainage which till now lead the water away from the area, and allows the accumulation of water to enhance the wetlands.
More information may be found in the next issue of Fennoscandin Bats and Gudnjoloddi.



Thursday 30 January 2019

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 Gudnjoloddi.



Trollpipistrell. Foto: Francois Schwaab.

11 November 2018

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 Veterinarian (
Norwegian Food Safety Authority) since the municipality is planning on demolishing buildings at Handelsbakken, in Stadsbygd, 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 § 5 that «Any person who believe that animals are exposed to abuse or serious destruction of environment, supervision and care, shall as urgently as possible alert the 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.





10 October 2018

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 be prosecuted.



16 September 2018

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.


10 September 2018

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.





3 September 2018

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.



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.



4 June 2018

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.



2 May 2018

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.


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