Supported by the EU funded project NaturAL and led by Philippe Théou, rangers and experts from the Regional Administration of Protected Areas were monitoring the bat species occurrence in protected areas of Albania for several years, to understand them better and to assure more effective management of their habitats. The newly published Atlas: Bats of Albania summarizes the results of their work that confirms the importance of Albania for bat conservation in general.
Until today, 32 bat species have been recorded in Albania - a very high number considering that a maximum of 54 species have been recorded in all Europe (including Island and Western Russia). Most of the European bat species are found in Albania. Some maternity colonies have more than 7000 specimens and hibernation groups can be composed of more than 2000 individuals. This makes Albania highly important for bat conservation regionally, especially considering the important migrations of some species, with specimens recorded in Albania and then possibly in Bulgaria, Central Europe or even Russia.
It is important to mention that for example the species from the Rhinolophus genius are frequently found in Albania while being extinct or rare in Central Europe since the 60s due to the extensive use of pesticides and the destruction of natural habitats. Albania is also home to the bat species endemic for the Western Balkans, Plecotus kolombatovici.
Read more about bats in general and the positive impacts these mammals, protected by the Albanian law and the European Union, have on our lives.
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