Żubr’s Fund encourages to come to like bats
Żubr’s Fund joins forces with the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in executing a joint project focused on bats – mammals that are extremely important for many ecosystems. Within the framework of the cooperation, the Fund finances equipment necessary for research and infrastructure that will allow scientists to observe these mysterious mammals and launches a campaign aimed at improving their reputation. The task of warming up their image was entrusted to Huta 19 im. Joachima Fersengelda and online creators, including Make Life Harder, 5 sposobów na and Paulina Górska.
Despite all their virtues, bats do not enjoy great popularity. Research commissioned by Żubr’s Fund indicates that out of the group in which it is accompanied by the chamois, wolf, bison, wild boar, doe and rabbit, the bat is the least favourite animal. 37 percent of respondents do not like it, while 59 percent declare to be scared of it. However, bats are useful, enigmatic and worth knowing.
– Bats are the only mammals able to actively fly and not just glide, and at the same time they are social, intelligent and learn fast – says Prof. Ireneusz Ruczyński from the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The real phenomenon is their longevity: a batt weighing a few grams can live up to 40 years, while a rodent of a similar size will only live one or two years. That is why bats are called long-lived mammals trapped in small bodies. Understanding their aging mechanisms can be an introduction to developing ways of slowing down the process of aging in humans.
Bats are very useful because they feed on insects, providing free and fully eco-friendly protection for plants. The value of bats’ global “work” of eating pests is estimated to millions of dollars a year. In Poland, bats also significantly reduce the number of mosquitos and constitute an indicator of climate change – it means that by following the increasing differences in the reach of habitats of various bat species, we can evaluate how the climate is warming up. All bat species in Poland are protected and taking care of them is crucial not only for scientists fascinated by them, but also all residents of the country.
– We can imagine a world without bats – continues Prof. Ruczyński. – In that world, we would be forced to use way more chemicals, which ultimately would end up in our bodies in some form. We would probably be also exposed to a significantly higher number of annoying insects.
Considering all that, Żubr’s Fund, the mission of which is to protect nature, decided that this year bats will be one of its eco-priorities – focusing on their protection and supporting bat-related research conducted by the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Thanks to the Fund, scientists were equipped with devices allowing them to monitor bats’ activity, such as ultrasound detectors converting sounds made by bats into those audible for humans, thermal imaging camera, drone and off-road car. Due to the progressing thermo-modernization of houses in Poland, bats will soon run out of places to hide in winter and summer. Therefore, Żubr’s Fund will finance the construction of 175 bat boxes and 3 a few meters high towers for potential reproduction.
Żubr’s Fund in cooperation with the Huta 19 im. Joachima Fersengelda agency prepared a campaign that will help to warm up the image of bats and make Poles realize what an interesting and important species it is when it comes to the balance of our ecosystem. The bat image-oriented activity encompasses online advertising activities, PR activities, collaboration with the media and popular online creators, including Make Life Harder, Suchar Codzienny, Donald.pl, Eko. Paulina Górska, 5 sposobów na and Mikrowyprawy.
– Żubr’s Fund approaches protection of bats in an interdisciplinary manner – explains Urszula Czerniawska-Kapeluch from Żubr’s Fund. – We combine the knowledge of scientists from the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, experience of Polish carpenters, Dutch know-how in terms of animal protection solutions and marketing competencies. We hope that this cooperation and communication activities will have a positive impact on the reputation of bats, improve their welfare and increase their chances of surviving in the Białowieża region.
The above-mentioned activities are a part of the consistently executed mission of the Żubr brand owned by Kompania Piwowarska, based on protection of Polish nature. To reach that goal, Żubr has established Żubr’s Fund the job of which is to educate, save and protect nature. This mission is executed in environmentally invaluable regions of Poland. The Fund supports various environmental initiatives – long-terms ones, like the cooperation with the Biebrza National Park, and those that require taking quick action, like providing help when the Biebrza valley was on fire. The latest campaign of Żubr’s Fund aimed at repurchasing privately-owned areas of the Biebrza National Park made a real difference and contributed to the expansion of actively protected areas of the Park.
More information on the Fund’s activity can be found at: www.funduszubra.pl
Bat box – manual.