Project reports

Project reports, a selection ...


Kaitsealused loomaliigid (nahkhiired jt) Haapsalu piirkonnas

Protected animal species (bats and others) in Haapsalu area (Estonia)

From June 2011 till November 2012 protected animals (amphibians, reptiles and bats) were studied in Haapsalu area, western Estonia. Environmental Investment Centre (Keskkkonnainvesteeringute Keskus) supported the work of this project financially from February 2012 till June 2013.

The project report, including text and general tables, is in Estonian and can be found here.

Finding places of 4 species of amphibians, 4 species of reptiles and 10 species of bats are shown here.

Haapsalu, June 2013

Matti Masing


Learning bats within a European Lifelong-learning Programme project LENA
(LEarning NAtural values in Europe), 2012–2014

In this educational project, conducted by Sicista Development Centre, we had five partners from four European countries (Estonia, Finland, Italy and Romania). During two years we carried out learning events in nature, gathered hundreds of learners, invited local experts, visited partner countries, exchanged educational information and produced LENA learning tools in the form of presentations, articles, topical learning sheets, photo albums and films. -->

After LENA, similar activites are continuing in partner countries. Thus, lifelong learning about nature is happily on its way.


Nahkhiired ja nende elupaigad Ülemiste järve piirkonna metsades 2016. a suvel

(Nahkhiirte uuring Tallinnas, Ülemiste terviseradade planeeringualal juulist septembrini 2016)

Bats and their habitats in the forests of Ülemiste Lake area (Tallinn, Estonia) in the summer of 2016

From July till September 2016 bats were counted at seventy-seven counting points situated in the forests by Lake Ülemiste in Tallinn, Estonia. During 8 observation nights a total of 10 bat species were found.

Small Myotis bats (probably, Myotis mystacinus) had a summer colony in a hollow oak. Pond Bat, Daubenton's Bat and Northern Bat were common in these forests, while Natterer's Bat and Brown Long-eared Bat were rare. From migratory species Pipistrellus nathusii, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Vespertilio murinus and Nyctalus noctula were present, and they also had a late-summer migration corridor in this forest.

Basing on observations, bat mapping and bat counts, expert recommendations were given to area planners so they can act in a bat-friendly way. -->


Bats of Högnäs and South Bodom (Espoo, Finland) in the summer of 2016

Finland – 100 years of independence. Högnäs – 8000 years of natural history!

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, together with independent Finland's 100-year events, Sicista Development Centre proudly presents this new product to scientific and local communities. By doing this it tries to lift boreal nature conservation to the next level. -->

In the summer of 2016 bats (Chiroptera, Mammalia) were studied at Högnäs and South Bodom (Espoo, Finland) using an ultrasound detector, digital camera and detector-based bat counting methods.

Six bat species and species groups were found of which Eptesicus nilssonii, Myotis brandtii/mystacinus and Myotis daubentonii were numerous having summer colonies in this area. Other species found were Plecotus auritus, Pipistrellus nathusii and (probably) Vespertilio murinus. The latter two are migratory species, which use this area as feeding place and migration corridor in the second half of summer. Maximum abundance of bats occurred in the second half of July and in August when great numbers of bats, among them those belonging to a vulnerable species group of small Myotis (Myotis brandtii/mystacinus) were observed flying and feeding in forests, over meadows and by the shore of Lake Bodom.

To prove the occurrence of sibling species Myotis brandtii and Myotis mystacinus these bats must be caught to identify their species. It is highly probable that both species live in the area as their habitats are present.

This study shows that the area of Högnäs and South Bodom is an important habitat for bat populations in southern Finland. It should be protected as a nature reserve. Further bat research is required to reveal more details of bat life in this area. To better understand the value of Högnäs and South Bodom for bat populations living in southern Finland extensive bat mapping should be carried out. That work would reveal important bat sites which should be protected as areas where natural values are preserved.

A special learning event to introduce both the topic and the project

Bat talk in Espoo,
18th of May 2017

On Thursday, 18th of May 2017 at 19.00

Villa Apteekki, Pappilantie 5, Espoo

Bats of Estonia and North Espoo (habitat requirements and ways of protection).
A presentation and a night walk guided by Dr. Matti Masing, expert of European boreal bats. -->

Masing 2017-05-11 Bats of Estonia and Espoo - FLAIER

A special film about learning bats at Högnäs, North Espoo is shown to the participants. -->

Bats of Högnäs - happy and free. Sicista Videos, 2017.

Other project materials

Masing, M. 2017. Bats of Estonia and North Espoo. Part 3. Bat survey in Espoo in 2016. PowerPoint presentation, Espoo, 18.5.2017: 54 pp.


Nahkhiirte detektor-uuring Jägala jõe alamjooksu piirkonnas 2018. aasta suvel

Detector-based study on bats at the lower basin of Jägala river in the summer of 2018

It is one of the shortest and lightest nights of the year. I am Pond Bat (Myotis dasycneme), flying over the surface of Linnamäe Reservoir, the best place I know at the lower basin of Jägala River, northern Estonia.

I like this place very much! I feel here like at home. And I AM here at home! This is the place where I can find my insect food during the short early summer nights. I am flying here together with my bat-mates, my brothers and my sisters, my grandmothers and grandfathers. We are all happy here! And we hope this place will last long, so our grand-children can see, feel and taste its glory ... just like we do now.

We have heard, with our long ears of course, that some bad people wish to destroy our habitat at Linnamäe. But we also know that there are some good people around who walk along the shores of Jägala River during the night, with ultrasound detector in hand, so they can listen to what we have to say. Those people have heard us, Pond Bats, long-term citizens of this country. And we hope that they act well so our home will be safe.

Estonia – 100 years of independence.

Estonian Bat Group – 27 years of detector-based batwork.

Sicista Development Centre – 20 years of learning and teaching nature in Europe.

Pond Bats flying over friendly waters of Linnamäe Reservoir
... almost 100 years of independent life.

Since August 2018 this information board is proudly standing on the northern bank of Linnamäe Reservoir. It tells people a story ... A story about BATS, long-term citizens of this bat-friendly environment.

The board tells people about this special site which is one of the few places where summer colonies of Pond Bat, animal species strictly protected in Europe, are able to live on the northern border of their distribution area in Europe.

Other project materials

Masing, M. 2019. Nahkhiirte detektor-uuring Jägala jõe alamjooksu piirkonnas 2018. aasta suvel. LISA 2.

Masing, M. 2019. Nahkhiirte detektor-uuring Jägala jõe alamjooksu piirkonnas 2018. aasta suvel. LISA 3.


Nahkhiirte inventuur parkides 2018. aasta suvel 

(nahkhiirte inventuur 12 pargis)

(looduskaitselise uurimistöö kokkuvõte)

Detector-based study on bats in 12 parks in the summer of 2018


Study on bats (Chiroptera) in Berlin in 2019

Part 1

Detector-based study on bats in Berlin with the aim of monitoring their populations

Report by Matti Masing

Fig. 1. 142 point counting points established in 5 study areas of Berlin to monitor changes in bat populations.

Part 2

Additional data on bats in Berlin from 2019

Report by Matti Masing

Fig. 1. Locations of additional study places of a detector-based bat research in Berlin in 2019.

Brief summary of bat work done in Berlin in 2019

Preparation for bat work, and bat counts at 202 selected points situated in six study areas of Berlin (Tegel, Spandau, Charlottenburg, Tiergarten, Treptow and Grünau).

Field work period: April, June and August 2019; total of 36 days.

Cameral work period: 3 months (January – March 2020).

Equipment: Pettersson D240x detector, Zoom H2 sound recorder, earphones, hand torch, Sony DSC-HX90 and Sony DSC-RX100 M4 photo cameras, maps, notebooks, computer, BatSound 4.1 sound analysis software to analyse bat sounds collected during bat counts.

Bat sound samples collected: about 2,100.

I used bicycle and local trains to reach the study areas every night, and I lived in hotels in Alt-Tegel, Berlin-Mitte and Grünau, to shorten field work period as much as possible. During the night I used rented bicycles to move between the counting points.

Table 7. Brief summary of bat counting results from Berlin. April, June and August 2019:
bat individuals observed.

(detector-based identification)
Bats observed during monitoring counts in June Bats observed at selected sites during additional research TOTAL of bats observed at selected sites in 2019 Comments
Number of 10-min points

Count duration, total (min)

Myotis daubentonii
Relatively common bat foraging over open water.
Myotis brandtii/mystacinus
Relativeley rare bat, found in habitat type ”forest”, very rare in city parks.
Myotis nattereri
Relativeley rare bat, found in habitat types ”forest” and „pond shore in park”.
Plecotus species*

Probably Plecotus auritus.
Pipistrellus nathusii/kuhlii**

Probably Pipistrellus nathusii.
Pipistrellus nathusii
Pipistrellus nathusii, species proved by its social call. In August this social call can be heard in every forest and large park in Berlin.
Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Most common bat species in Berlin.
Pipistrellus pygmaeus
Relatively common bat by open water and in forests, less common in parks in city centre.
Eptesicus serotinus

Common bat in forests and in parks.
Nyctalus noctula
Common bat in forests and in parks situated close to large open water.
Nyctalus cf. leisleri
Rare bat in Berlin, sometimes observed passing by a large open water.
Chiroptera species

Unidentified bat.

Percentage of identified bats

Number of species found

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