“Species In The Spotlight” by Daan Dekeukeleire, biologist, PhD student at Ghent University (Terrestrial Ecology Unit) and active in the bat working group of Natuurpunt.
Bats are going through a hard time, especially now that many people are afraid of these animals because of the corona crisis. The common pipistrelle is a species found everywhere in Flanders. She resides in houses and forages in gardens of both urban and rural areas, so it is the bat species that most people come into contact with. As a result, the species is also threatened by unjustified fear of Covid-19. We get worried questions and reports from colonies being chased, even though the pipistrelle, like any European bat, is completely harmless. Moreover, it is a bat species whose ecosystem services are very obvious: every pipistrelle eats more than 300 (!) mosquitoes and other insects per night.
A little everywhere: they have their abode in buildings (cavity walls, under roof tiles, behind shutters) and their hunting grounds are often in gardens, but also forests, along tree rows and wood edges.
It has a dark snout, brown back and belly, and small ears. The species makes a typically erratic flight with many sudden turns. His sound on a bat detector sounds like wet drops on a plate.
Meise Botanic Garden requests all participants to respect the current measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Consult https://www.info-coronavirus.be/ (FPS Health) for more information on these current measures.