In the territory of the state nature reserve “Utrish” in the Krasnodar Territory, scientists-chiropterologists discovered the largest bat in Europe and Russia – the giant vesper. This species of bat is rare everywhere and is included in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Red Book of the Russian Federation.
Specialists from the South Ural Federal Research Center for Mineralogy and Geoecology of the Ural Branch of RAS – Vladimir and Larisa Snitko – measured and weighed the discovered specimen. Its weight was 53 grams, and its wingspan reached 45 cm.
Head of the Reserve Oleg Chikhachev said that it was the first time such a bat was found on the territory of Utrish. After the necessary measurements and examination, scientists will release it into its natural habitat.
Giant vesper is a species of bat that is active at night and feeds on insects. They live in forests and populated areas and may also use buildings as dwellings. Due to the destruction of forests and declining insect populations, the giant vesper is in danger of extinction.
In addition, bats play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to control insect populations and spread plant seeds.