Help bat researchers by collecting droppings

A Finnish research group is looking for volunteers to collect bat droppings (feces). The purpose of the project is to study how climate change affects the diet of bats. Sign up by the end of May!

Anyone with access to Northern bat (Eptesicus nilssonii) colonies is welcome to participate in sample collection. The collection methods are as follows:

  1. Place fresh A3 papers under the bat colony for a day and remove them the following night.
  2. Pick the droppings into a test tube with tweezers. Repeat every second week from May to August.
  3. Mail the tubes to us for dietary analysis.

We provide all necessary collecting equipment. Please sign up here

Climate change is changing the environment, affecting species occurrence and distribution, as well as inter-species relationships. The group is studying the effects of climate change on the bats of the northern regions, where the active season of bats is short. On the other hand, the distributions of species extends further south, and the possible effects of climate change can already be predicted by studying bats on the latitudinal gradient.

Bats are long-lived and reproduce slowly, and are therefore excellent models for climate change research. Bats in the north are insectivorous and therefore completely dependent on the occurrence of insects. Generally, species with a short life cycle are able to adapt to changes in the habitat faster than species with longer generation times.

Using molecular methods, the group studies the diets of the bats, and how the temporal peak of nutrition relates to the breeding season of bats. The aim is to gather feces from all over the range of E. nilssonii, so that differences in diet in different regions can be observed.


More information: Kati Suominen,, tel.  +358 44 337 4010