NATURE CONCERTHALL | 2016 : Plecotus auritus
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2016 : Plecotus auritus

Long-eared bat

Bats are the only class of mammals which have adapted to fly. Of the 1200 bat species globally, 16 can be found in Latvia. Since the growth of the population of this animal is slow – only 1 or 2 bats are born from each mother annually, the survival of every single colony and even each individual is important for the advancement of the species. Bats are conservative creatures that use the same Bats are conservative animals that use the same places for their homes generation after generation and that use specific landscape elements for their flights to feeding places and during their migration. They are also very sensitive to changes in their environment. Thus the survival of bats is threatened by several different factors, and a great number of these which are caused or influenced by human activity. Bats are also subject to many superstitions and misinformation people hold about the behaviour and characteristics of this fascinating night creature.

This year’s feature natural element for the Nature Concertall is Plecotus auritus – the brown long-eared bat who is a characteristic example of bat which lives in Latvia throughout the year and has adapted closely to humans. Almost all – several tens of thousands – of the brown long-eared bats hibernate in small cellars. Often the owners of the land upon which these cellars are do not even know about their guests. Even in the summer a proportion of these bats choose to live and rear their young in buildings used by humans – in residential homes where they live in attics, in cracks in the walls of buildings where they remain unnoticed because they do not create loud, noisy colonies. With the change in household management, the need for cellars diminishes or they are modernised thus leaving many long-eared bats without the places they have used for years – some even might perish as a result. This bat species also lives in the forest, in tree holes but they are equally happy to feed both on the edges of forests and agricultural land where they are threatened by deforestation and the use of pesticides. Although the long-eared bat is still regarded as the most frequent bat species in Latvia, inventory at wintering sites show a slow but stable downward trend over the past 24 years which suggests that human-induced changes are currently taking place faster than this animal is able to adapt – despite its long-standing close interrelation with humans.

18.06.2016
Venue: Lūznava Manor Park, 8 Pils street, Lūznava,
Rēzekne district, LV-4627.
Coordinates: X: 701420, Y: 6250637
Lat: 56.3574538, Lon: 27.2603817

01.07.2016
Venue: Zaļenieku or Green Manor Park, Zaļenieki,
Jelgava district, LV-3011.
Coordinates: X: 469727, Y: 6265312
Lat: 56.5312092, Lon: 23.5078469

SCIENCE: PhD of biology Viesturs Vintulis, PhD of biology Gunārs Pētersons
ARTISTIC PRODUCER: Roberts Rubīns
SCENOGRAPHER: Didzis Jaunzems
MUSIC: Ingus Ulmanis, Andris Sējāns, Reinis Sējāns, Kaspars Tobis, Anrijs Grinbergs

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GUNĀRS PĒTERSONS

Information about scientist will follow soon.

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VIESTURS VINTULIS

I have a doctorate in biology – specialised in zoology or to be even more precise –I am a chiropterologist or bat researcher. I have been interested and been researching this peculiar group of mammal since 1992 when I began research of Latvian hibernating bats in caves…

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