Hunting places

The forest is the most important habitat for the bats, because each species in Slovakia is completely or at least partially bound to the forest ecosystem. Bats belong to the group of species with lack of knowledge; however their role in forest ecosystem as predators of the night insects is unsubstitutable.  Owing to several attributes such as high food consumption, high mobility and activity, ability of an effective search of places with food concentration, longexity, and perfect adaption to night activity and hunting of insects, bats are very good adapted for an efficient regulation of insect populations. Bats are active in forest all night around, the amplitude of the activity is shortly after sunset.   

During the night, the bats are able to consume food of 20–50 % of their own weight.   A colony of 800 individuals of Greater mouse-eared bats can consume 55 000 insect and 2000 kg of insect in total during the summer! One Daubenton’s bat captures from the water table 3000-4000 of mosquito worms during the night. Each species has specific hunting strategy given by the ability of certain scope of ultrasonic frequency as well as by the construction of wings and body. Species are specialized in different ways of hunting – slow or quick hunting in free air, hunting in tree crowns, collecting food from the substrate (leaves, bark) or from the ground or from the water table.  Some species use up also a passive hunting, hanging down from the branch and flying-off only after registering the quarry (still hunt).

The forest management has the most important impact on the refuge and nutrition possibilities in forests and thus it is at the same time the most important field for research, promotion of results and support of such management methods which enable to use the regulation potential of bats and to conserve their species diversity for future.