Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat units a brand new bat migration file with a 2,400 km flight

Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat sets a new bat migration record with a 2,400 km flight
A photograph of the ringed Nathusius’ pipistrelle. Credit: Viktor Stepanov

A small bat migrated not less than 2,486 km from Russia to the French Alps, in keeping with lately uncovered proof revealed in De Gruyter’s worldwide journal Mammalia. This migration beats the earlier file flight, from Latvia to Spain, by 260 km.

The feminine bat was ringed with an info tag in 2009 by Russian researchers within the Darwin Nature Biosphere Reserve in Russia’s Vologda Oblast. Then, over 63 days, it flew throughout Europe earlier than its physique was present in Lully, a village close to the French Alps.

Since 2,486 km is the shortest distance between the bat’s ringing location and Lully, the precise distance it lined might be even additional.

“It’s a very big surprise,” mentioned lead writer Dr. Denis Vasenkov of the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences. “We thought that our bats were migrating to countries in south-eastern Europe and other neighboring countries, not France.”

The researchers assume the bat could have navigated utilizing the coast of the Baltic Sea, since different bats are generally discovered alongside this coast throughout migration season. In that case, it might have flown greater than 3,000 km.

In Europe instances of bats flying greater than 1,000 km are uncommon. Even in tropical climates some bats will solely migrate as much as 2,000 km.

Why the bat took such a protracted route is at present unclear. The researchers recommend it’d merely have gotten misplaced throughout its common migration route, or maybe lengthy migrations are extra widespread than beforehand thought.

The bat’s extraordinary journey got here to gentle because of cooperation between researchers in France and Russia. Dr. Jean-François Desmet of GRIFEM in France first despatched details about the tag to Dr. Igor Popov at St Petersburg State University. Information in regards to the bat then moved by way of the Russian analysis group earlier than reaching Dr. Vasenkov final yr.

Dr. Vasenkov and co-author Dr. Natalia Sidorchuk intend to proceed their work ringing and recording bats to get extra details about migration routes and the way bats orientate throughout migration. “We hope that we can get GPS tracking for the biggest bat in Russia, the greater noctule,” says Sidorchuk.

Interest in bat migration has grown dramatically lately as Europe continues to construct extra wind farms, that are recognized to trigger a whole lot of bat deaths every year.

Understanding bat migration routes will likely be essential when planning new wind farms to ensure these deaths are minimized, the authors say.

Researchers to analyze wind energy results on bats within the Baltic Sea area

More info:
Denis Vasenkov et al, Bats can migrate farther than it was beforehand recognized: a brand new longest migration file by Nathusius’ pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae), Mammalia (2022). DOI: 10.1515/mammalia-2021-0139

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Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat units a brand new bat migration file with a 2,400 km flight (2022, April 25)
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