The Barbastelle has been selected as ‘Bat Species of the Year 2020-2021’ by the partners of BatLife Europe. Organisations in over 35 European countries will focus on promoting solutions to conservation issues and to raising public awareness about this endangered bat species in 2020-2021.
In most European countries the Barbastelle is considered rare and under threat. The extensive loss of deciduous woodland and intensive forestry, which often implies removal of dead or decaying trees, is a significant factor in the rarity of this species. Use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides reduces insect diversity and may lead to indirect poisoning of bats, and pesticide run-off in water can severely disrupt aquatic insect abundance. For all of these reasons, this species is strictly protected at the EU level, and in most of countries in the European continent.
Dr Jasja Dekker, Chair of BatLife Europe: “The species is rare in Europe, and, as a typical bat of old and diverse woodland, is a great indicator of the health of the forest ecosystem. Also, it faces similar threats across Europe, which requires a close collaboration and communication at the continental scale for its conservation. By selecting Barbastelle as ‘Bat Species of the Year 2020-2021’, BatLife Europe and its partners aim to highlight conservation issues but also best practices implemented everywhere in Europe for the protection of this species.”
BatLife Europe facilitates international communication and knowledge sharing in order to promote a successful co-existence for humans and bats.