Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bat-er Up!


A huge, dark, imposing concrete structure was the last thing we expected to see during a walk in the forested area that borders Wassenaar and The Hague. And yet, here it was.

Turns out this is a "winter house" for bats (winterverblijf voor vleermuizen). Apparently, inside the structure the temperature remains constant and is perfect for bats to overwinter. Bat populations in The Netherlands were in a steep decline, due mainly to loss of habitat and insecticides, and this is one of the ways the country is trying to help these important creatures.

You're seeing recycling at its best. Originally constructed by the German army as part of the Atlantikwall defense fortifications, this bunker is part of a whole bat habitat system. Around the area there are several bunkers connected by tunnels that provide thousands of meters of winter protection for bats.

4 comments:

oldmanlincoln said...

What an amazing post and the photos are incredible< Good for your country for trying to take care of the bats. Most don't acknowledge they exist. It also proves that World War II has left the world with something useful.

Annie said...

How much better a use this is for the old fort, better than warring is housing the bats.

jb said...

A case of "Bats in the bunker", rather than in the belfry....

Dick said...

Interesting post, we have a bat bunker too. Something bad turned into something good.