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European Night of Bats raises awareness of threatened species in series of nocturnal events in Brussels
City residents are invited to get better acquainted with bats during a series of nocturnal events during the 26th edition of the European Night of Bats from 20 August 20 to 3 September.
The awareness-raising event is run by Brussels Environment in collaboration with Natagora, a nature conservation organisation in Brussels and Wallonia.
From the pipistrelle that can squeeze into a matchbox to the noctule with its 45cm wingspan, the Brussels region boasts 20 different species of bats. Discover why they live upside down and how they play an important role in our ecosystem?
The five events spread over four evenings will provide answers to these questions and more. Citizens will also learn how to spot and protect the nocturnal animals who promote local biodiversity.
The number of bats has been decreasing since the 1950s. They suffer from the increasing reduction of their living environment, light pollution and the use of pesticides and insecticides.
In fact, bats are natural insecticides themselves, capable of eating up to half their weight in insects overnight. This is just one reason why they need to be protected to ensure biodiversity.
Positive initiatives by Brussels Environment and Natagora include creating underground lodgings inaccessible to the public, maintaining old trees in the Sonian forest and installing LED lighting that’s less disturbing for wildlife than traditional streetlamps.
"Each citizen can also act on their own level, in particular by protecting existing natural shelters, banning the use of pesticides and insecticides and avoiding illuminating their garden at night," pointed out Brussels-Environment and Natagora in a joint press release.