Bats (Chiroptera) of the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve

Bats in the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve are very well researched. Already in the first “Annals of Nature” for 1948 you can read information about them.

The main merit in their study belongs to the biologist Gennady Likhachev, who worked in the reserve as a research fellow for about 20 years. The bats are the only flying night mammals. They have a fine hearing. According to reflected ultrasonic waves, they are unerringly oriented in the dark and distinguish foreign objects from flying insects – their main prey. Bats sleep upside down, they never attack people.

Mass flight of bats in the evening darkness can be observed in the southern quarters of our reserve, when bats are sent for night hunting.

Daytime bats are spent in hollows of old trees and in attics of houses. Not all bats can find day shelters in the forests of our reserve. For example, the сommon long-eared bat seeks for this old forest trees with hollows, which can rarely be found in a pine or spruce forest. Suitable oak forests can be found only on the banks of the Oka River.

In the 1950s, about 500 artificial nests for small birds nesting in hollows of trees were placed on the territory of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve. After 2-3 years in these artificial nests were first noticed bats. And after 10 years, bats were already the usual inhabitants of these shelters. Depending on the location and type of artificial nesting, the species composition of the bats inhabiting there may be different.

Currently, in the Prioksko-Terrasny nature reserve, there are 10 species of the Bats of Family Vespertilionidae.

The Natterer’s bat (Myotis nattereri)  – Red Book of the Moscow Region.
The Pond bat (Myotis dasycneme)  – Red Book of the Moscow Region, IUCN Red List

The Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii) – numerous species

The Brandt’s bat (Myotis brandtii) – usual
The Common long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) – an ordinary species with a low number.

The Common noctule (Nyctalus noctula) – an ordinary species with a low number.
The Lesser noctule (Nyctalus leisleri) – rare species. Successfully reproduces. Red Book of the Moscow Region.
The Nathusius’ pipistrelle
(Pipistrellus nathusii) — the usual numerous species.
The Soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) – an ordinary species with a low number

The Parti-coloured bat (Vespertilio murinus) – very rare species, periodically visits the territory, but does not reproduce here.

Many townspeople do not even realize that next to them live such interesting animals as bats. When the snow melts and small insects fly in the warm air, in the evening darkness the attentive observer can notice the tiny swift silhouette of a small animal – a bat.