Storms devastate bat population

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Summer storms are being blamed for devastating Scotland's bat population prompting fears that global warming could jeopardise the future of the species.

Summer storms are being blamed for devastating Scotland's bat population prompting fears that global warming could jeopardise the future of the species.

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) believes the strong winds and torrential rain deprived the mammals of their essential diet of insects. It forced them to abandon their young leaving them insufficient energy for winter hibernation. Experts fear storms will become increasingly common as a result of climate change. Despite an abundance of midges throughout Scotland this year, heavy rain and high winds meant the insects stayed on the ground.

Bat species such as Brandt's, Noctule and Natterer's have been affected. Throughout the summer BCT officials received a record number of calls from home owners reporting dead or dying bats, or in some cases an absence of the creatures altogether. Some bats have changed their behaviour patterns by hunting during daylight, which experts believe is a sign that they are starving.

Anne Youngman, Scottish officer for the BCT, said there was still hope that this year's high death toll was just a blip.

Comments