Five Different Bat Species Identified at the JKU

Tackling gnats, bugs, and mosquitoes: The JKU is home to a variety of wildlife - including bats.

Common noctule; Photo credit: Wolfgang Forstmeier
Common noctule; Photo credit: Wolfgang Forstmeier

The JKU invited members of the Austria Coordination Center for Bat Conservation and Research to embark on a quest and collect information about the JKU’s bat population. The Linz Climate Fund generously provided financing and the experts laid in wait, eventually finding just what they were looking for! The experts netted a mosquito bat (featuring wingspan that can grow up to 23 cm, but weighing only 4-7 grams), as well as a hoary bat. These bats like to migrate (sometimes up to 2,000 kilometers if necessary) but can also survive well in the winter.

Experts also used acoustic devices and identified a water bat and an evening glider. These are heavier bats, weighing up to 30 grams.

Experts also discovered a 5th bat species, but could not reliably identify it. The two captured bats were, of course, quickly released and continue to hunt mosquitoes and other insects on campus.