A recent research survey of Ojców National Park has discovered 721 wintering bats residing there, comprising 11 different species.
The vast majority (631) of the bats were lesser horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros), a common variety, like the one pictured above. Researchers remarked that they have been increasing in number in recent years. The bats eat many insects considered to be pests and are not dangerous to humans.
Ojców, 20 km northwest of Krakow, features ideal conditions for bats – woods, limestone, abundant food, and caves for winter shelter. It is one of the most important habitats for bats in all of Poland, which is home to 26 bat species in total (all of which are protected by law).
The four-day study was the 32nd carried out by foresters from the Poznań University of Life Sciences. They inspected 23 locations in the park, among which were 21 caves.