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.
'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells
20.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy