I think bats are very cool. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen one here since I moved to Holland seven years ago. According to vleermuis.net (“the network for information about bats in the Netherlands”), 21 different bat species have been seen in the Netherlands. Of these, 7 species are commonly found. All 21 are protected species here, and 9 of the 21 are on the Dutch “Red List” for threatened mammals.
Of course bats are found all over Europe. EUROBATS notes no fewer than 8 bat-related events happening in Europe in 2006, including the National Bat Conference in Reading UK in September. There is even a museum in Bourges, France devoted to the flying mammals.
In spring 2005 volunteers built a new “bat hotel” in the Waterloopboos natural area in Flevoland. This month, three residents, brown long-eared bats, were discovered making a winter home for themselves in the hotel. This is quite exciting for bat-fans, as it usually takes years before bats will take up a new location.
This is all very interesting, but I’ve still never seen one here. So I’ve added something to my ever-growing to-do list: see a bat in Holland in 2006. Wish me luck!