The worldwide largest funnel trap designed for the purpose of studying migratory bats will opened at the ornithological field station in Pape, Latvia, on August 19, 2014. At the same time, an ambitious international research project on the biology of migratory bats will be started. The project is expected to provide some key answers to many unsolved questions concerning flight paths, hibernation areas and metabolism of these ecologically valuable mammals.
The trap was built by Latvian and German biologists and designed to capture bats en route when migrating along the shore of the Baltic sea to central and southwestern Europe. The research project is part of a collaboration between the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) and the Institute of Biology of the Latvian University of Agriculture.
“Owing to decades of bird banding, ornithologists already know much about the migration of birds. However, the study of bat migration is still in its infancy. This is due to the fact that there are very few places worldwide where it is possible to observe and catch migrating bats in sufficient numbers.
The conservation area in Pape is unique in this regard, as bats concentrate in this area because of a so-called ‘bottleneck effect’. In Pape, the migration path towards the south is narrowed in a natural way by the shoreline of the Baltic Sea and Lake Pape. Therefore, migrating bats have to pass this narrow stretch of land. There is no other place in Europe to observe so many migrating bats at the same time”, states bat scientist Gunārs Pētersons, associate professor at the Latvian University for Agriculture.
Biologists estimate that with the help of the new 15 meter high funnel trap it will be possible to catch up to 1,000 bats per night. The researchers will ring as many animals as possible in order to figure out which migratory corridor they use.
All animals will be released immediately after they were banded. Previous efforts in banding bats at Pape in the 1980s and 1990s revealed that bats may travel distances of more than 1,900 km between their summer and hibernation areas. For example, some Nathusius pipistrelles, which had been ringed in Pape, were observed in southern France or Benelux countries.
The trap will help scientists to answer further questions about the life of migrating bats. It is for example unknown whether migrating bats use special migration corridors, or which summer and hibernation areas are linked. This infomation could contribute to the improved conservation of migrating bats.
Migrating bats face many conservation challenges, including the negotiation of the many new wind farms set up in Germany and many other European countries. Wind turbines are deadly traps for many wildlife speices, especially migrating bats.
Approximatly 300,000 bats are currently estimated to die per year at German wind turbines alone. Mitigation measures that balance the interests of renewable energy generation with protecting migrating bats are possible in principle and revolve around the adjustment of operational procedures in relation to the timing of main bat activity on a daily and seasonal level.
The new funnel trap in Pape will be officially inaugurated by the director of the Institute for Biology of the Latvian University of Agriculture, Prof Dr Viesturs Melecis and the director of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Prof Dr Heribert Hofer DPhil, as well as the leading Latvian and German scientists Prof Dr Gunārs Pētersons and PD Dr Christian Voigt. The opening event will take place on August 19, 2014 at the ornithological field station in Pape (region Rucava, Latvia).
University of Lattvia
Associated Prof Dr biol Gunārs Pētersons
Dr biol Oskars Keišs
Tel.: +371 29236300
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW)
PD Dr Christian C Voigt
Tel.: +49 30 5168-517
Tel.: +49 30 5168-125
The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) investigates the vitality and adaptability of wildlife populations in mammalian and avian species of outstanding ecological interest that face anthropogenic challenges. It studies the adaptive value of traits in the life cycle of wildlife, wildlife diseases and clarifies the biological basis and development of methods for the protection of threatened species. Such knowledge is a precondition for a scientifically based approach to conservation and for the development of concepts for the ecologically sustainable use of natural resources.
Karl-Heinz Karisch | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes
28.08.2015 | University of Gothenburg
Bio-fabrication of Artificial Blood Vessels with Laser Light
28.08.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...
A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...
In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.
These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...
Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.
For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...
It comes when called, bringing care utensils with it and recording how they are used: Fraunhofer IPA is developing an intelligent care cart that provides care staff with physical and informational support in their day-to-day work. The scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have now completed a first prototype. In doing so, they are continuing in their efforts to improve working conditions in the care sector and are developing solutions designed to address the challenges of demographic change.
Technical assistance systems can improve the difficult working conditions in residential nursing homes and hospitals by helping the staff in their work and...
20.08.2015 | Event News
20.08.2015 | Event News
19.08.2015 | Event News
28.08.2015 | Physics and Astronomy
28.08.2015 | Health and Medicine
28.08.2015 | Life Sciences