Celebrating 10 years of the European Bat Night
This year’s 10th Anniversary of the European Bat Night is being held on the 25-27 August. The event, organised by EUROBATS, will take place in more than 30 countries. Nature conservation agencies from across Europe pass on information to the public about the way bats live and their needs with presentations and exhibitions. The weekend offers visitors the opportunity to get actively involved in understanding the activities of bats through the many excursions which will be on offer. One highlight will be the opportunity to listen to bat sounds with the support of ultra high frequency technology.
The intrigue of bats
With numbers of bats worldwide in decline, conservationists are keen to build on this enthusiasm. The last weekend of August is the European Bat Night, when conservationists in some 30 countries will try to raise awareness of the 45 species of bat that live in Europe through lectures, exhibitions and bat walks.
Why all the excitement? People seem to have cottoned on to the fact that bats are strange and fascinating creatures. They are the only flying mammal: their formal name, Chiroptera, comes from the Greek for "hand wing", as the open wing resembles an outspread hand but with a membrane between the fingers that also links wing to body. Their sophisticated high-frequency echolocation system makes bats formidable night flyers and hunters. Yet contrary to popular opinion, most are not bloodsuckers, preferring insects or the juices of fruits.