Research output

Vleermuizen gaan achteruit in Vlaanderen: resultaten van de rapportering 2013 van de Europees beschermde soorten en habitattypes

Research output: Contribution to journalA2: Article in a journal with peer review, not included in A1



Original languageDutch
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)59-65
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jul-2014


Bats are an endangered group of mammals and populations of several
species have been declining for decades in Europa. Consequently
all species are listed on the European Habitats Directive. One of the
obligations of this Directive is that member states must report on the
conservation status of the species and habitats (article 17). In this
article we discuss the conservation status of the bat species in the
Flemish region.
The assessment of the conservation status is based on the range, the
size and the trend of the population, the habitat and the future prospects
for each species. Although bats are elusive animals and data is
sparse, we can conclude that only five species have a favourable conservation
status. Since the implementation of the Habitats Directive
one species, the Barbastelle bat has gone extinct, while the ranges of
Geoffroy’s bat, Pond bat and Greater mouse-eared bat have markedly
decreased. Also more common species, such as Daubenton’s
bat and Noctule, are decreasing. The big seasonal difference in the
trends and numbers of population of Geoffroy’s bat and Pond bat are
striking. Numbers of both species are increasing in protected hibernation
sites, but summer populations are decreasing and are under
great pressure. This shows that caution is needed when interpreting
the data form hibernation census counts. For an adequate monitoring,
more data on the summer populations is needed. Conservation
measurements need to take all elements used by bats in their complex
life-cycles into account: summer roosts, hibernation and swarming
sites, foraging areas and the connections between these.
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