Bat – mysterious creature of the night

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There are 13 known bat species in Finland, of which most are found in Espoo. The most common of them is the Northern bat, which is able to survive in a wide variety of habitats, and which you often meet chasing moths around lamp posts. The Whiskered bat likes shady forests, while the Daubenton's bat lives in colonies near water catching insects on its surface. The Natterer's bat and the Nathusius' pipistrelle are endangered species.

Bats are nocturnal animals, who forage for food using biological sonar. In winter, bats hibernate clustered on cave walls, tree hollows or even attics. In summer, females gather together to give birth and nurture their young.

All of our bat species are strictly protected under the EU Natural Habitats Directive, which means that their breeding sites and resting places may not be destroyed or deteriorated. For example, bats hibernating in an attic must be left alone. Bats do not cause any damage to buildings and, in summertime, can help humans by clearing nearby areas of annoying insects.

Finland has signed the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats which, for example, provides for important feeding areas and the protection thereof through town planning.