Our project to create special houses for bats in the forests is only just getting under way, and we are already thinking about its continuation. This is not surprising – the lack of shelters for synanthropic species must be dealt with as quickly as possible, as the adverse changes threatening them are proceeding at a rate we did not expect just a few years ago. Building towers, wintering grounds and bat huts from scratch are not always the only solutions. There are places where you can successfully use what already exists. Our surroundings, including forests, are full of buildings which are no longer needed and which, over time, are gradually dismantled for reasons of safety or a lack of ideas for their use. Some of these have great potential to be adapted into ideal bat roosts with relatively little money.
The idea put forward by PTPP “pro Natura” hit fertile ground at DGLP. At the request of the Directorate General, Forest Districts across the country carried out a preliminary inventory of sites located on land managed by the National Forest Holding (Państwowe Gospodarstwo Leśne Lasy Państwowe) that met the conditions indicated by PTPP “pro Natura” chiropterologists. In this way, a considerable database was created of sites which could be adapted for bats, such as cellars, basements of past buildings, wells, bunkers, shelters, forts, underground silos, disused transformer towers, underground mine workings and abandoned buildings. Consideration was also given to used residential and farm buildings owned by State Forestry, on whose walls the landlords agree to place slotted bat boxes.
The idea has also been picked up by other landowning institutions, including National Parks and some municipalities.
The inventory is a good starting point for planning further activities in cooperation with the institutions concerned.