In news- A bat that flew 2,018 kilometers (1,254 miles) from Britain to Russia is being hailed as a mini-Olympian by scientists.
About Olympian bat
- This bat belongs to the Nathusius’ pipistrelle species of bats.
- The earlier, ‘Olympian’ bat’s record is topped by another bat from the same species that flew from Latvia to Spain in 2019 covering a distance of 2,224 km.
- This bat typically weighed less than 10 grams.
- They are known to migrate from summer breeding grounds in northeastern Europe to warmer areas of the continent where they hibernate in trees in buildings.
- The Nathusius’ pipistrelle is found across Europe from the U.K. to Asia Minor.
- But recent studies suggest that some bats are now spending the winter further north than in the past and that their numbers are increasing in the British Isles.
Significance of the journey
- The journey is significant because it is the longest one undertaken by a bat from Britain across Europe.
- For climate scientists the journey is a window into studying bat migration and its connection with climate change.
- As per the Bat Conservation Trust UK, the Nathusius’ pipstrelle’s range expansion is linked to climate change and future changes in climate will further impact this species.
UK’s Project on Bat
- The Bat Conservation Trust launched a project called the National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project in 2014 to improve our understanding of the ecology, current status and conservation threats for Nathusius’ pipistrelles in Great Britain.
- One of the goals of this project is to determine the migratory origins of this species of bats since they might help in understanding its links to climate change.