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Coming Out At Night

Bats do not seem to have a large following. The poor little creatures are indeed on the retreat everywhere in the modern world and are now slowly becoming an endangered species. In environmental terms it must be stressed though, that bats are an important contributor to a balanced ecosystem. Amongst many other useful functions, they are one of the only mammal pollinators in the world.

I like the little buggers, as you might have suspected. I had three personal run-ins with the little creatures over my years in Mallorca, and I remember the encounters fondly, even though I got bitten once by one of the dear sods. Luckily, nothing bad came out of that close encounter. I think I went for a tetanus injection, just to be on the safe side.

In many countries, bats have little practical or effective preservation. In the UK and much of Europe, bats enjoy considerable protection, though. In the US and Canada, conservation is not nearly as effective. In Spain, bats are protected to some extent as far as I know.

Some good news relating to bats in Mallorca was found in the local media here, a few days ago. A group of biologists has discovered a new species of bats on the island. The Chiroptera in question is a female brown bat (Myotis emarginatus), also known as Geoffroy’s Bat, so far in the Baleares only discovered in Menorca. With this latest discovery, there are now 18 known bat species in existence here in Mallorca, and a total of even 19, in the Balearic Isles. In the whole world, more than 1,000 bat species are known, apparently.

The fact that so many different bats live here in Mallorca is a proof, perhaps, that the island is still relatively safe and sound in environmental terms. Let’s just hope that this status will last for a while longer. If you should see some bats coming out at night in your finca, count yourself lucky. Please do not call the authorities and do not fetch the aerosol can with the pesticide.

The photo (top) was taken from the Internet, courtesy of The image (bottom) was borrowed from Muchas gracias and many thanks.

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December 2009


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