The FLEDERMAUS Foundation, the Naturstiftung David, the regional branches of NABU in Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony, and the University of Greifswald have joined forces to research, protect and promote the barbastelle bat nationwide for six years (12/2018 – 12/2024). The key to the project’s success is the cooperation with forest owners and stakeholders in forestry, science and bat conservation.
A rare forest dweller who likes to hide behind the bark of trees is called Barbastelle Bat. Her flat snout can be compared to the snout of a pug but otherwise she is all bat. She is hiding during the day and is active during the night. However, the Barbastelle Bat has very special requirements for its habitat and it is threatened.
The project is based on an analysis of the national distribution of the barbastelle bat. Data will be collected through acoustic recording devices deployed by volunteers in selected model regions in eight federal states. The recorded signals, which provide clues to the presence of barbastelle bats, are then evaluated by us. If barbastelle bats are detected in an area, their homes can be identified by means of targeted net catches and fitting individual bats with transmitters.
Based on the findings of their preferred habitats, a model for the nationwide occurrence of the species will be derived, a so-called habitat model. In tandem, the University of Greifswald will carry out a genetic analysis of the population structure in order to analyse the recovery of the barbastelle bat in Germany.
Together with local stakeholders, our goal is to develop and implement specific measures based on the identified living quarters in order to protect the barbastelle bat and to preserve, support and interlink its habitats.
A central building block for this is near-natural forest management guided by principles of nature conservation which promote tree structures that the barbastelle bat requires as a habitat. The project therefore relies on close cooperation with public and private forest owners as well as representatives from the forestry sector. We want to find ways together of integrating suitable measures into forestry practice.
Our goal is to make these measures widely available so they can be implemented by forest stewards, nature conservation agencies and volunteers in as many places as possible. To these ends, we will pass on the knowledge gained in this project in targeted, professional training courses.
At the end of the project, a practical handbook will summarise the main results. It will also be available for download here on our project website.
* The animals will be caught, examined and sampled only by trained specialists and with species protection and animal welfare permits. No analysis will take place without the appropriate approval and expertise.
Here we present the project, its diverse activities, working methods and partners from all over Germany.