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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Warsaw. They counted bats in parks. There are more and more of them

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Research commissioned by the Warsaw Greenery Board shows that the bat population in the capital is increasing. – In July and August 2023, 479 bats of nine species were caught. The number of these mammals in the capital surprised chiropterologists. – This year, we installed 20 bat nest boxes as a test – say city gardeners.

The research was carried out in seven parks managed by ZZW: Park im. Żeromskiego, Moat and Slopes of the Citadel, Park. Traugutt, Saski Garden, Praski Park, Park im. Rydz-Śmigły, Ujazdowski Park. This is the first such comprehensive study of bats in the capital. The preliminary results are optimistic. The number of these mammals in Warsaw parks has increased significantly in recent years.

Bat species in Warsaw

As ZZW explains, bats were caught in chiropterological nets, listened to using detectors, and observed using thermal imaging and endoscopic cameras. Their presence was detected during cleaning of nest boxes and inspection of wintering grounds. Among the caught bats, the common noctule is the most numerous. This species is considered migratory. However, everything indicates that it has changed its behavior and instead of migrating, it winters more and more often in tree houses and holes.

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In Warsaw, the occurrence of the late night scotoma, the silver scoter, three species of pipistrelles, three species of bats and the forest noctule were also confirmed. In the underground, historic building “Elizeum” in the Park. At least 25 Natterer’s bats and one large bat found winter shelter in Rydz Śmigły.

They choose hollow trees

Bats are increasingly choosing Warsaw parks because there are many old hollow trees there. Surprisingly, they are relatively rare to find in ISSEL or Stratmann boxes intended for them. Most often, they choose birdhouses – during this year’s cleaning of birdhouses in Mokotów parks, ZZW employees found them in 25 boxes. In forest areas, bat boxes are also very popular with bats. “This year, we installed 20 such booths as a test – the most, as many as 14, were hung in Skaryszewski Park, 3 – in Praski Park and 3 at al. Wojska Polskiego,” ZZW enumerates.

So far, 18 species of bats have been recorded in Warsaw (out of 27 species recorded in Poland). “These are mammals under strict protection. They are also our allies because they eat insects that are bothersome to us, e.g. mosquitoes. You should not be afraid of them because they never attack people and do not get caught in hair. They can only bite in self-defense when catches them in your hand – that’s why you shouldn’t grab them with your bare hand,” warn city gardeners.

If they fly into the building, they should be allowed to leave by opening the windows at night and turning off the lights. However, if the bat does not want to fly out, it is best to ask the city guard for help.

Main photo source: ZZW

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