Bats live in hollows of trees, rocks, rubble, mine shafts or tunnels – and it is clear that they feel comfortable in their habitat in the Rhineland-Palatinate. Of the 25 species of bats native to Germany, 22 are found in the Rhineland-Palatinate.
But: Of the 25 species of domestic bats, four are in danger of extinction. According to Nabu, three species are considered critically endangered and another five are classified as critically endangered, says the Nature Conservation Union of the Rhineland-Palatinate (Nabu) in Mainz.
Maine in the Eiffel “Bat Capital 2022”
In order to draw attention to and protect special animals, there are several events across the country this weekend (27 and 28 August) where bats can also be experienced up close. The Rhineland-Palatinate is in particular focus: as part of the International Bat Evening, which takes place in 38 countries around the world, Maine in the Eifel in Germany will become the “bat capital of 2022,” Naboo writes.
Because the Maine mine field there, a former mining area, is a real hot spot for bats. 14 of Germany’s 25 species live in the tunnels – about 100,000 bats visit the live every year. Project employee says “Bats Welcome!” It is the largest winter district in Germany. des Nabu, Rhineland-Palatinate, Fiona Brurein.
The crater field is popular with bats for the winter due to the constant temperatures and high humidity there. “This way they don’t wake up much and they don’t get dehydrated.” According to Nabu, the brown long-eared bat, the pug bat, and the ciliated bat are particularly endangered or endangered across the country.
See and hear the bats
At Mayen «Batnight», visitors can admire the many acrobatics that gather against the background of rocks in the evening hours: in addition to hunting insects, mammals go in search of mating partners in late summer. With detectors, you should be able to hear the animals.
“Because bats always live in complete secrecy and hide and come out at night while we sleep and we can’t see them either, it’s important that we keep reminding us of their presence,” says the bat expert.
There are other events on the bat trail in the state in Bad Dürkheim, Bad Kreuznach, Annweiler, Elmstein, Bingen and Ramsen. In the Saarland, there are hiking tours in Beckingen and Saarbrücken on Saturday evenings.
Endangered species in Germany
Bats are special animals: they see with their ears, fly with their hands and sleep with their heads down. They are “cool” because they are the only domestic mammals that can actively fly and find their way in complete darkness with echo-guidance, reports the Naboo newspaper.
Breueren says bats are among the most endangered species in Germany. In addition to their food decline, they are particularly concerned about habitat loss. Natural shelters in caves and crevices of old trees are becoming increasingly rare.
Some of our bat species often live unnoticed in buildings. These neighborhoods often fall victim to renovation work, often out of ignorance.” Bat Night should serve to “enlighten and bring people closer to these wonderful animals,” Bruin says.
Uncertainty about the population in Germany
Bats can also feel at home in gardens: Nocturnal bats like species-rich meadows and native perennials better than English grass, said Sebastian Kohlberg, Naboo’s species protection officer. This park is attractive to insects and therefore also to bats, as insects are on the list.
It’s hard to say how the country’s population has evolved over the past few years, Broren says. There are a number of “risk factors” that suggest the number of bats may have decreased. “But we don’t know, there are no current numbers.”
The European Office for the Protection of Bats, Eurobats, has been organizing International Bat Night for 26 years with many organizations around the world. In Germany, Nabu organizes ‘Batnite’ regularly on the last weekend of August.