New bat species recorded in Lithuania - greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis)
Since February 2015, the Lithuanian Ornithological Society (LOD) in cooperation with the partners – Coastal Research and Planning Institute (CORPI) and Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI) implementing the project “Development of wind energy and territories important to biodiversity” (VENBIS), which is financed by the EEA grants, project partners as well as national contribution.
This project is aimed to evaluate the possible influence of the most important areas for wind energy (WE) development to the biodiversity, especially to the most sensitive bird and bat species. In the frame of the project the potential conflict areas will be detected, solutions for the conflict management, biodiversity protection and sustainable development of WE will be proposed.
For the first time birds and bats research is covering the whole country. Based on the research findings, the appropriate measures and recommendations for the conflict management will be proposed. These recommendations will be discussed jointly by the environmentalist and representatives of WE sector. Scientific research is performed by the employees of the LOD and CORPI.
Ornithologists and bats specialists underlined, that the research will be focused on the sites with the biggest concentration of the migrating birds, as well as areas of the protected species of birds and bats, covering breeding, migration and wintering periods. A special attention will be paid to the various species of bird of prey, which during the migration often are killed by the WE power plants. The field research will take one year and will cover two spring seasons, summer and autumn. During the first spring season, when the field research was performed, a lot of new information was discovered, in particular regarding the bat species. For the first time a modern technic was used – bat species were counted with the Wildlife Acoustics detectors and data analyzed with the Echo Meter Touch software.
The bat research showed, that some bat species (Pond bat (Myotis dasycneme) and Barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus)) are more widely distributed all over the country as it was thought at the beginning of the project. However, the most important finding– a new bat species registered in Lithuania - greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis). This species was known in the neighbouring countries – Poland, Belarus and Latvia, however this is the first time when it was registered in Lithuania.
The first two individuals with the new type detector have been recorded few times by the LOD member Antanas Petraška in Prienai (23rd of June) and Jundeliškės, Birštonas district (4th of July). On 7th of July it has been registered for the third time by the LOD board member Vytautas Eigirdas in Užliekiai, Šilutė district. The LOD staff member Gintaras Riauba registered greater mouse-eared bat close to Abromiškės, Elektrėnai district, on 19th of July. Individuals were registered in different districts of Lithuania, therefore it can be presumed that this species lives in the country.
More about the project’s activities and it’s results please find on the VENBIS project site http://www.birdlife.lt/venbis