Bats and Trees


Tree fellings are the worst danger for bats. They lower their body temperature when sleeping, so they can not fly away like a bird. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes before they brought her body to a temperature, which allows them to move, during winter sleep this takes even longer. So they have no chance to escape from a tree felling. Often animals are cut alive, splinters penetrate deep into their bodies, they suffer fractures and more. If professional help is not immediately on site, a single tree felling can kill hundreds of bats. Our urgent request: Before you cut down a tree (or parts of it), please let experts investigate the holes in the tree with an endoscope to look for bats. The same applies to larger tree care measures, because in thicker branches you can also can find bats.

Here you can see Bat Quarters in Trees

We thank Bat Tree Habitat Key for the photo.

Tree with bat quarters

Old = new?

In the photo you can see a cross section through a tree. Below you can see still the hole where bats had access to her former home ... Here you can clearly see that an old tree cannot just replaced by a new one. Until a young tree can be an adequate substitute accommodation for animals, it takes several decades...

old = new ?
old trees are habitats!

Chimneys & Ovens

In Winter many bats are looking for the warmness of the chimney. Unfortunately, the search for the warmness sometimes ends up by falling into the chimney where the bats are trapped and have no way out. The animals fall in and burn painfully. Tip: Please bring a tight-fitting mesh over the chimney opening, so you not only protect bats, but also birds. Maybe the chimney sweeper helps you fixing the mesh. The loops should not be bigger than 0,2 - 0,4 inch, otherwise bats cn fall through it. And please look often into the chimney if a bat is inside. 

Message from a ncytalus noctula

"At 1st October, it starts again - the tree fellings! Thousands of us will die. Our trees, where0 we sleep in, will fall and we fall with them, crushed, sawed, unjured. Some of us will only get hurt, we are fighting to get out of the fallen tree hole, trying to get away, but we will die, because it's winter, we have no chance. Whole families and groups are wiped out in one tree fell, but it will not touch you, because we are small and nobody hears our cries in the night ... " (The Bats Europe) Please help prevent this tragedy! Before any tree felling the trees must be carefully examined for holes and large cracks. All holes must be endoscopy to ensure that no bats are in them. This must be done immediately before the tree fell, as well as in winter, the animals change their quarters, so that an empty hole overnight can change into a occupied bat accommodation! – Take action for the protection of the habitats - tree holes should be preserved where ever possible as habitats. Thanks for your help!

It is not just a tree felling

It’s not just a tree felling, which itself is bad enough. If it is a tree where bats have their winter quarters, it has unfortunately happened many times before, that the trees were cut down including the bats inside the tree holes. Bats can not fly away like birds. Bats lower their body temperature during sleeping. Until they have warmed up their body back on normal temperature, it takes about 20 minutes. When a tree is cut and comes down, the animals have no chance to escape the deadly crash. The animals which survive are often seriously injured: broken bones, wing injuries, splinter deep in the body ... If no medical help is quickly there, the helpless animals die slowly and painfully. Emergency medical assistance requires that the company executing the tree felling, informs the regional advisor for bats immediately, then immediately a group of helpers and veterinarians can take care of the animals. The animals must be fed until recovery and they have to get flight training to get fit again. After recovery they have to be brought back to the location where they were found to be released back to the wild. (if it is not still winter, then the animals have to stay in the bat station to wait for spring so that they can look for new quarters – if available…). If the animals are back in the wild again, they didn’t only loose their quarter (of which there are less and less ...), but also their group-members. Bats are highly social animals and in working with injured animals, we can see again and again how the animals are chummy with each other. There are definitely friendships among individual animals and small groups in a large group. We even watched some bats grieving after group-members passed away. Here I can quote Noka: "As long as people think that animals do not feel, animals must feel that people do not think." I just wanted to give a brief look into the world of bats and show how important it is to maintain the old trees. - And this is only one aspect of "bats" – when a tree is cut, there are also owls, woodpeckers, insects and so on. An old tree is not just a tree, but a habitat for many animal species!

Late effect of a tree felling

The seriously injured nyctalus noctulas, who came as victims of a tree felling to our station, have to sit in warm temperatures for their special medical treatment and could not continue their winter sleep in our station. Without the medical treatment they would die, so we had no choice between medical treatment or winter sleep. Due to this there is always the risk of premature birth of the babies, because most wild female nyctalus noctula are pregnant. At 03/12/2013 a female nyctalus noctula got two stillbirths. So a tree felling does not only hurt the generation now, it hurts the generation to come, too! Another female nyctalus noctula gave birth to 2 healthy babies yesterday. These babies can be released to the wild with a special method (see out reports in photo-album "information") later in spring. But they will have to be released without their Mom. The mother-bat is so seriously injured that it will take at least one year for her to recover and return back to the wild again. 

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