First evidence of bats’ death because of the war – when shattered windows become traps

The war in Ukraine impacts all living creatures. Woodlands are burning and crushed, wild animals are injured or killed, and pets are scared. Today we present to you the first evidence of how war impacts bats. A few days ago we visited the most damaged by russian shellings district of Kharkiv city – Saltivka and rescued bats from the broken window. This window-trap is a typical trap for migrating Noctules.

Some of the windows in our city are of old type – two frames with a space between them. It often becomes a human-made trap for bats since 1990-s, when such cases were first recorded in Kharkiv city. Each year, during the autumn bat migration, we rescue up to 500 bats from such windows.
However, we even can not imagine how many bats already trapped this year in these windows of damaged and destroyed Ukrainian cities.

This time there were 26 bats of two species: 25 Noctules and 1 Serotine bat. By the time they were found, their health condition varied, since they must have been trapped inside the window for several days. 18 bats were still alive. We handled them, including measured, ringed, gave them water and released outdoors after the sunset. Hope they will travel further safe.

Part of our team is still in Kharkiv exactly for continue saving bats in such difficult circumstances.

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