As part of Wind Farms survey, bat shelter monitoring has an essential role for these species survival, especially during the most important parts of their life cycle. This is the hibernation stage, one of the most critical one. This stage is an adaptation, which consists in a torpor (deep sleep), to avoid the lack of food during winter.
With this in mind, is crucial to act with extreme caution so bats don’t awake, otherwise, if they do wake up, they can´t go back to torpor, and starve.
Some of the shelters in Portugal are called “Abrigos de Importância Nacional” (or National Importance Shelters) based on the number of bats using the shelter. This is of great importance for the national species diversity and subsistence.
Portuguese Conservation Institute of Nature and Forests (Instituto de Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas – ICNF) has the monitoring responsibility of these important shelters. But once there are specialized technicians in Bioinsight’ team, a partnership/support deal have been made between both entities, so Bioinsight is the one doing the bat counting on the shelters within our study areas. Those shelters can be caves, mines, abandoned houses…
Take a peek at our staff's work at Bajanca’s cave.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Bioinsight’s job is extremely important for the Portuguese bat community conservation. These actions are carried out by specialized technicians, with great experience. The specie’s wellbeing is our only goal, so specific methods and technics are used during the process. That way we ask for the population’s good sense, visiting bat shelters (caves, mines, abandoned houses…) without the presence of specialized technicians, can be extremely dangerous both for people and bats (as other species). Bioinsight appeal, don’t go to bat shelters if not with experienced professionals.