The list of factors that make life difficult for bats – in the truest sense of the word – has become longer and longer in recent years: The focus is not only on climate change, which causes young animals in particular to die in the hotter summer months before they can leave nest. Wind turbines are also an increasing threat to the nocturnal animals. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the widespread use of pesticides also means that they lack food sources such as insects (especially moths). Unfortunately, we have little or no influence on most points. However, you can support bats by providing them with new shelters. You can find out how this works as follows.

The breeding season for many bat species begins between March and April, so spring is the ideal time to install a nest box. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on a tree or on a house wall – it is important, however, that you observe the following points before installation:

Important: When assembling, make sure the bat box is securely and securely attached. If the nesting site falls down, you endanger people and animals alike.

Another tip: Flat bat boxes that are open at the bottom do not usually need to be cleaned. If you still want to start an experiment, choose a time when the animals are neither occupied with raising their offspring nor hibernating. It is essential that you orientate yourself on the applicable ban on disturbances, which were laid down in ยง 44 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG).

As already mentioned, bats are threatened with extinction – triggered by an increasing lack of food and habitats. To support species protection, you can take other measures (in addition to installing suitable nesting boxes): Since the animals rest during the day, nocturnal insects are on their menu. To lure them into your home garden, you can plant plants that bloom at night, such as catchfly and evening primrose. But also fish herbs such as mint, sage and lemon balm are real insect magnets. As for getting insect-friendly shrubs, buddleia or hawthorn are useful to provide more food sources for insects and thus bats.

Since bats do not have high demands on their place of refuge, you can lend a hand yourself: all you need to build a summer or winter quarters are the following utensils: a few wooden boards that are at least two centimeters thick and eco-certified, as well as Wood screws, a jigsaw and a cordless screwdriver, a drill and a wood file, a brush and linseed oil, a ruler or tape measure and a pencil. In this easy-to-understand video, Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU for short) explains step-by-step how this becomes a stable bat box, including an entry path for easier vertical landing:

Note: You can download the appropriate assembly instructions here.

Sources: NABU, bat protection, German Wildlife Foundation

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