practical nature conservation – wwf reed cutting

yes, it’s been two posts again, so there’s gotta be something about bats in this entry :razz:

cutting reed

the wwf is currently running a two-week mission to cut reed at schwemm [G]*.
schwemm is the last conserved swamp/moor in northern tirol, and fertilizers are constantly infiltrating from the surrounding agricultural areas. so now the reed is sprawling, and the nutrients are reduced (at least the wwf is trying to do so) by harvesting parts of the reed. here‘s an article in german.
* yeah, the greenish-brown speck in the center doesn’t look very exciting, but it is! there are several endangered species of plants and animals there

like many others, i volunteered for a day, trying to make my contribution…

i planned on getting there on saturday, but bat-man (notice the “-“!) toni 4hour was going on friday noon, and he kindly offered me a ride.

common pipistrelles (pipistrellus pipistrellus) in their roost - a 1-inch-wide crack

on our way to the walchsee region we stopped by wörgl to have a look at a potential bat roost. the house owner reported several (“there are ten for sure!”) bats living in a crack in the roof – toni counted about 70!
it’s fascinating: all those common pipistrelle bats (pipistrellus pipistrellus) are living in a crack that’s only about 2,5 cm (~ 1 in) wide and two meters long!

when we arrived at the moor and joined the other workers, the sun was shining and it was a perfect day (because i was supposed to get there one day later [?]).

there was a bat night held in kössen* (some 15 minutes by car), and it was unbelievably successful: we caught 14 bats from 4 species: several common pipistrelles (pipistrellus pipistrellus; zwergfledermaus), even more daubenton’s bats (myotis daubentonii; wasserfledermaus), some whiskered bats (myotis mystacinus; bartfledermaus), and the highlight, a mouse-eared bat (myotis myotis; grosses mausohr). (i don’t remember the exact numbers).

bats become visible on a black photo after auto-level

while checking the nets, i also tried to take a picture of the bats flying close by the shore. the results were several completely black images, but with the help of auto-levelling, you can still get a lot of details from the photos!
* see, i told you there was something about bats!

something else that deeply impressed me: when i was checking a net with my flashlight, i saw one bat flying straight towards the net. it turned around in the very last moment, and flew through a little hole in the net that was nearby. :shock:

we stayed overnight nearby, and when we got up on saturday, it poored [?] :smile:. we only worked until lunchtime, because the weather was rather unfriendly. after all, it was a lot better (for my energy management) to work two half days than a full one…

oh, and before we were going home again, we stopped by another colony of bats: mouse-eared ones (myotis myotis, grosses mausohr) – austria’s biggest species of bat! and lots of them – it was impressive!

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