Sunday, August 26, 2012

Estonian Fauna – Bat

On February 14, 2008, Estonian Post issued a single stamp set features the wildlife series. The species depicted is  Plecotus auritus (Brown long-eared bat). The issue only one stamp and 2 (two) first day covers which have image of this species.

Bats are the only mammals actually able to fly using their wings that connect the digits, the body, the hind limbs and the tail. Twelve species of bats have been registered in Estonia. 


Estonian bats are insectivores and use ultrasound and echolocation to find food in darkness. The species illustrated in the stamp is the brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), which has excessively large ears. In the summer it finds shelter in wall cracks or hollow trees and in the winter in cellars.
Estonian bats mainly feeds on moths, which it can grab from flight but also from tree-leaves. The brown long-eared bat only has one offspring a year. The bat population has declined in the recent years due to the contracting number of suitable shelters and disturbance at their nursery roosts or their winter hibernicula, therefore all Estonian bats are protected.


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