Feb 1

We’ve asked conservation organisations around the world to nominate a species that they believe to be overlooked, underappreciated and unloved, and tell us why they think that they deserve a fair share of the limelight, this Valentine’s Day.

Each nominee’s story is featured on the Arkive blog with information on the species, what makes them so special, the conservation organisation that nominated them and how they are working to save them from extinction.

Click the ‘unloved species’ tag above to see all of the nominations and their blogs.

Once you have perused the blogs you can vote for your favourite to help get them into the top ten unloved species and get them the recognition that they truly deserve! Share your favourite with others using the #LoveSpecies hashtag on Twitter and Facebook and tell them why they should vote for them too. Voting closes on February 14th at 23:59 PST (07:59 GMT).

Join us and our conservation partners in celebrating and raising awareness for some of the world’s most unloved species this Valentine’s Day!

Species: Greater mouse-eared bat

Nominated by: Salamandra

Conservation status: Least Concern

Why do you love it? The Polish Society for Nature Conservation “Salamandra” love the greater mouse-eared bat not only because it is cute (white belly and light cream back) and unusual (as opposed to the other bats, it collects insects from the ground rather than in flight). It is a wild species closely related to humans and its life depends on our care. The greater mouse-eared bat is protected by European law and Natura 2000 sites have been created to protect its habitat. Protection of this species and its habitat also helps to conserve many other bats with similar roost requirements and a variety of other animal and plant species. We believe that the greater mouse-eared bat can be a good “ambassador” of group of animals which are not dangerous but endangered and still disliked by people.

What are the threats to the greater mouse-eared bat? Greater mouse-eared bat is highly dependent on people – its summer roosts are located mostly in human buildings with spacious attics (e.g. churches, schools, palaces). For winter shelter it requires spacious, well-insulated and calm caves and artificial underground areas like fortresses or castle casemates.

Greater mouse-eared bats form usually big colonies, and the extermination of even one of them can have significant impact on the survival of the whole local population. In winter bats are exposed to the disturbance during hibernation and loss of their shelters which are often visited by unauthorised people. Additionally, people who are afraid of bats and don’t understand their importance and will kill them deliberately.

What are you doing to save it? Our most important activities focused on greater mouse-eared bats include:

  1. Monitoring of hibernaculas and the biggest summer colonies of the species in Poland
  2. Conservation activities focused on summer colonies – e.g. providing solutions in the case of human-animal conflict
  3. Designing and setting up big artificial hibernaculum in Poznań city as a replacement for another important underground shelter of this species which has to be lost due to its condition
  4. Participation in appointment, designation and conservation of Natura 2000 sites for the greater mouse-eared bat in Poland
  5. Education and public awareness raising, to improve people’s attitude towards bats, e.g. series of lectures about bats for children, students and other stakeholders and implementation of media campaigns throughout Poland
  6. Cooperation with authorities and lobbying for improvement of nature conservation law, for more efficient conservation of bats and their habitats

Find out more about Salamandra and their conservation work

Discover more vesper bat species on Arkive