More than 50 species of mammals have been recorded in the Plitvice Lakes National Park, among which bats make the most numerous group with as much as 22 species recorded. Overall in Croatia there are 35 known bat species, so this makes NP Plitvička jezera one of the richest places in bat species on national level. On the list of Natura 2000 mammal species there are 7 bat species which live in NP Plitvička jezera (Barbastelle bat Barbastella barbastellus, large bent-wing bat Miniopterus schreibersii, long-fingered bat Myotis capaccinii, greater mouse-eared bat Myotis myotis, Mediteranean horseshoe bat Rhinolophus euryale, greater horsehoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and Bechteinʼs bat Myotis bechsteinii) .
Particularly important are species that prey above and near water, such as the long-fingered bat Myotis capaccinii and other endangered and strictly protected species that use caves for shelter (large bent-wing bat, Miniopterus schreibersi, Mediteranean horseshoe bat, Rhinolopus euryale and greater horsehoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum). One of resident species in forests is also Barbastelle bat, Barbastella barbastellus, protected species that indicates high quality old forest habitats. It shelters under the bark and in the hollows of trees. Both, these forest and cave species love preserved, quiet and hidden habitats that provide them with sufficient availability of prey, shelter for day and winter hibernation and a special shelter for raising of young bats, which they find in the Park area.
This year marks the 25th International Bat Night in a row (International Bat Night is celebrated on the last weekend in August since 1997 under the auspices of the Agreement on the Protection of European Bat Populations (EUROBATS)). Plitvice Lakes National Park joins the celebration of the International Bat Night with an educational film about bats and bat monitoring in the Park. If you want to learn more about bats, their needs and habits, lifestyle, their role in ecosystems, their protection and monitoring in the Plitvice Lakes National Park, watch this educational film.
The film was shot in collaboration with members of the Croatian Biospeleological Society Marina Kipson, Vida Zrnčić, Lea Ružanović, Damjan Krstinić and students of the Primary School “Plitvička jezera” Lovro Brozinčević and Petar Tomljanović. Cameraman is Marin Trebotić.