Our bats are housed in a room-sized enclosure in Twilight World, illuminated with green light (which they cannot see). The room is filled with live plants and has the sides decorated with branches to provide perches when not flying. A couple of upside down 30cm plastic flower pots provide a roost area during the day. Feeders are hung round the enclosure so that several can feed at the same time if they wish – the diet is an artificial nectar similar to what is fed to our lorikeets.
It is estimated that perhaps a quarter of all mammal species are bats, and their conservation has in many cases been sadly neglected, as their habits make it very difficult for people to enter their world. Even the small insectivorous bats found in the UK are extremely diverse (17 confirmed breeding species plus some vagrants from mainland Europe), so a good start would be for people to stop using phrases like ‘there’s a bat’ – that is about as meaningful as saying ‘there’s a bird’ when you could be referring to anything from a wren to an eagle. For information on native British bats check out the Bat Conservation Trust website at www.bats.org.uk
(images from the net)