INIS ecologists have recently been carrying out winter bat surveys (under licence). Our team of bat specialists discovered a small hibernation roost inside an outbuilding in County Tipperary. The roost comprised some pipistrelles, most likely sopranos, roosting in some sacks/rugs that were hanging from the roof (see the photo below).
In winter, bats go into hibernation. Hibernation is an extended period of deep sleep (or torpor) that allows animals to survive cold winters with harsh weather. A bat’s body temperature lowers, and their metabolic rate slows, meaning they use less energy and can survive on the fat they have stored up instead of trying to forage for food. During hibernation, bats need roosts that are cool and remain at a constant temperature. So, sacks and rugs inside a derelict building provide the perfect environment!