In the Exclusion Zone, scientists recorded 9 rare species of bats
As part of the annual study of bats in the Exclusion Zone, another field expedition of specialists from the SRI «Chornobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology» and the Rehabilitation Center for Bats «Feldman Ecopark» was finished.
This year, scientists have researched the left-bank part of the Exclusion Zone, which is least studied compared with other regions. Bats were caught with special nets, which did not harm them, described, ringed and released them. During the expedition, scientists managed to catch 420 individuals.
In addition, using recording devices that work in the ultrasound range, specialists daily recorded vocalization to identify the species of bats, give a relative assessment of their numbers, describe the daily and seasonal changes in their behavior. Currently, scientists decrypt the recordings and analyze them and will continue it during this year.
«The rapid pace of the revival of nature in the Exclusion Zone is of great interest to science. The Agency, for its part, supports the desire of scientists to explore the processes of the revival of territories and the impact of ionizing radiation on the state of flora and fauna. I hope that with the creation of a Reserve, scientific research in the Exclusion Zone will increase, and maximum effort to preserve the unique biodiversity of the Ukrainian Polissia will be made», – Vitalii Petruk, Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, says.
«This year, during the expedition, we managed to capture the presence of 9 rare species of bats in the Exclusion Zone, including Common and Lesser noctule, Serotine bat, Nathusius's pipistrelle, Soprano pipistrelle, Parti-coloured bat, Daubenton's bat, Brown long-eared bat and Barbastelle – a special pride, which in 11 years was recorded for the second time. All of them are listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine, and Barbastelle has a high security status in Europe. Also during the study, audio recorders repeatedly recorded the appearance of a Greater noctule bat - the largest and very rare bat of Europe», – Serhii Gashchak, Deputy Director of the SRI «Chornobyl Center», says.
According to him, all results of the expedition will also be provided to the Chornobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve to strengthen the protection of rare groups of animals in the territory of the Exclusion Zone.