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.
New method opens crystal clear views of biomolecules
11.02.2016 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Scientists from MIPT gain insights into 'forbidden' chemistry
11.02.2016 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.
The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...
Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".
Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...
The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.
Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...
Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.
The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).
Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels
A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...
09.02.2016 | Event News
02.02.2016 | Event News
26.01.2016 | Event News
11.02.2016 | Life Sciences
11.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
11.02.2016 | Earth Sciences