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Bat shelter

Bats are viviparous mammals. There are approximately 1,360 species of bats worldwide, which constitutes approximately 20% of the species of all mammals living today. It is assumed that, next to bees, mushrooms, plankton and primates, they are the most important species for the world. All species that occur in Poland, and there are at least 28 of them, are under legal protection.

Most bat species feed on insects, but there are also carnivorous, herbivorous and frugivorous species. Three species of bats from South America feed on the blood of birds and mammals. Bats do not build nests or other shelters, but use existing hiding places, preferring warm and quiet places. Hiding places for breeding colonies are most often attics or other nooks and crannies of buildings and tree cavities.

Due to the decreasing number of natural shelters for bats, special boxes, called shelters, began to be hung for them. These are most often wooden boxes with an inlet slot at the bottom. It is mounted on a tree (tree boxes) or a wall (wall-mounted). It can serve as a hiding place for the so-called transitional (during flights between winter and summer roosts), or as a resting place or as a breeding place. Even an optimally located bat shelter will not be occupied if it has gaps in the side walls. These defects are particularly common in improperly constructed wooden booths, where boards are joined in one plane without using the so-called "foreign pen" and in the case of nailing shelters with nails or, even worse, carpentry staples. The shelters should be screwed together with stainless screws, and the individual boards should form one plane and be connected using the so-called "alien feather". Three types of boxes are mainly recommended for installation on trees: the Stratmann type, the Issel type and the English type.

Remember that if we want bats to appear in our surroundings, it is worth leaving old, hollow trees, and creating cracks in buildings through which they can get under the roof, attic or basement. Such shelters are the best for them! Some of them are so small that they can even hide behind wall pictures or under roof tiles. It's worth having bats close to our homes! One bat can hunt many mosquitoes and other insects during the night that we don't like! 
Under the roof of the Foundation's headquarters, in the Educational Forest Clearing "Permaculture Station" in Sząbruk, in the summer of 2023, a breeding colony of approximately 300 bats took up residence. It was enough to leave the old wooden wind braces with numerous gaps on the roof! Bat droppings are one of the best garden fertilizers!


Be sure to read this interesting article about how many mosquitoes bats actually eat: click!


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