Scientists propose noted Bat Night participation in the census

Forthcoming European Bat Night field observations may be noted these interesting animals — in Russia, they remain poorly understood due to lack of funding, so any data can be useful, experts told RIA Novosti Russian Alliance for the preservation and study of bats.

Annual Bat Night will take place from Saturday to Sunday in more than 30 European countries for the sixteenth time. Agreement on the Conservation of Bats in Europe populations (Eurobats) came into force in 1994, its aim is to protect 52 species of bats that live on the European continent through education and conservation programs.

Currently joined the Treaty 33 of 64 potential participating countries (including the states of North Africa and the Middle East, where migrating bats). The document is part of the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, which was concluded in the framework of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Russia has not yet acceded to the agreement.

Unknown little animals

According to the head of the Alliance for the preservation and study of bats, Whitley Award laureate Igor Prokofiev, to accurately assess the state of the populations of these animals in the territory of Russia and the threat to their size prevents a lack of information.

"If you bring together scientists who are working to study bats, a day for each dispute, the state population. We are not yet have information on the number and species diversity of bats in different regions. Some scientists believe one thing, others — more … in this matter requires serious study, "- said the Prokofiev.

Serious experts on these animals in some regions, they are, in particular, "trying to figure out the species composition of bats in their fields, because it is a big question — how many species of bats and how plentiful their population," — said the expert.

"Compared to European countries such as Britain, Germany, Italy, is still below the level of research because of funding. Comparing the magnitude of financing projects for the study of bats in Europe and Russia — I think they are incommensurable" — said Prokofiev.

"Of course, provides grants RFBR individual scientists, but from my point of view, this is not enough. According to this grant, it is necessary in each region, so that we now have a complete picture of the population of bats in Russia … yes, there are some projects that are funded (scientific, public funds), but, in my opinion, this is a drop in the sea, "- he added.

According to him, the problem of under-funding is relevant not only for bats but for zoological research in general — such work is often not prioritized because the potential for commercial use of their results are not obvious.

"From my point of view, we (the utility — Ed.) Not quite understand in Russia. Recent example — in Italy have found a way to deal with a lot of mosquitoes in the local parks with the bats," — said Prokofiev.

He explained that, in the Italian parks hang special houses for bats, each of which is capable of an hour to eat a thousand mosquitoes.

Significant role in the study of bats in Europe, play and volunteers, particularly in the UK in the collection of field data on bats annually attended by about two thousand volunteers.

"Accordingly, scientists have more or less regular, normal picture of the population of bats in the UK", — said Prokofiev.

Night with mice

Alliance for the preservation and study of bats in the upcoming Midnight hold a number of "mouse" events from festivals and themed drawing competition for primary school children to meet with scientists and field observations of the animals, told RIA Novosti member of the coordinating council of the organization, Alexander Gorbachev.

"We have planned a number of events, so we do not limit ourselves to one night," — said the organizer, adding that the full list of events can be found on the website of the Secretariat Eurobats.

Residents of the central and southern regions of Russia who wants to mention Bat Night "in" and observe the animals, can not wait for a disappointment — at the end of August they have much less than in May and June, said Prokofiev.

"The fact that the night bats for Russia not very well chosen. We have species that overwinter in the regions of the European part of Russia, and there are species that migrate for the winter in other regions. By 15 August, has already begun the process of migration of volatile mice to the wintering grounds, "- said the scientist.

According to him, look for these animals can be, for example, in the old buildings, under bridges and near water.

"The optimal place to see the bats, in my opinion, just a pond, because every evening bats try to stick to water, this place is their feeding and water source … so water is considered one of the most convenient places of observation" — said Gorbachev.

To forage, according to experts, is approximately 40 minutes after sunset, when the mice begin active "years."

"Depending on the start time varies, but that's 40 minutes after sunset — this is the time when most of the species are already flying," — said Gorbachev.

If the search is complete luck, you can make a contribution to the study of Russian bats — the site of the alliance is a special page for those who want to describe the circumstances of his meeting with the animals, experts said.

"For us, as for scientists who collect data on the distribution of bats is very important information about what types where there" — said Prokofiev.

Talking about the "safety" at a meeting with the bats in the room, the scientist said that the main thing — be careful when trying to touch the animal.

"If you come across a bat, for instance, in the attic, in the basement, in any case, do not try to take them with your bare hands, it is very dangerous … they can bite, and unfortunately, many species are carriers of different diseases. If we take them in hand, we must take special gloves, maybe old leather "- said Prokofiev.

He also noted that "undesirable bat" pick out "a stick, cast out."

"They absolutely do not harm humans. Just aim of our activities — to convey to people that bats are not harmful to humans, but rather useful, they should not be afraid, do not kill," — said the expert.

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