Bats of Transcarpathia: their uniqueness, usefulness, and protection

The thematic event about the life of bats and a respectful attitude towards them, as well as all biodiversity, which Christians perceive as God’s Creation, was held on August 3rd, by IERS expert Mykhailo Bilanych for children and youth – participants of a summer camp in the social and catechetical center of the Mukachevo Greek-Catholic Eparchy (Antalovtsi village, Uzhhorod district).

Greek-Catholic youth, among whom are also children of IDPs, got acquainted with the life of bats, learned about the peculiarities of their structure, as the only mammals capable to fly, and about their importance in ecosystems. It was interesting to know that bats are mentioned in the Bible in the 11th chapter of the book of Leviticus. Among the Israelites, these animals were considered unclean, they could not even be touched. Apparently, this rule helped the bats, because no one was going to disturb them in their natural habitats – caves, tree hollows, etc.

Unfortunately, people did not have such a rule in Europe and Asia, on the contrary, negative myths arose about bats, because of which they were repeatedly harmed or expelled from their homes, especially if they settled near people. Therefore, during this thematic event, Mykhailo Bilanych dispelled a number of myths about bats.

The youth watched an ecological and educational video about the life of bats. After that, a workshop on making a bat box was held where the expert explained the structure and necessity for expanding the living space of bats. Curious participants joined in assembling such a “box” from parts made in advance by the public organization of people with disabilities “Parallelny svit”(“Parallel World”).

Also, the participants received an interesting guide about bats “Bat Mania”, which was published as a result of a two-year study of bats in Transcarpathia. Also, the youth received beautiful badges with images of bats and learned about the website https://www.bat4man.org.ua/, where one can get all the information about the study of bats that live in the churches of Transcarpathia.

The event was held as part of the cooperation of the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies –  IERS (headed by Alexander Bokotey) and the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU Bundesverband NABU International ), project coordinators – Ivan TymofeievNataliya Kulya (IERS) with the participation of the Ecological Commission of Mukachevo Greek Catholic Eparchy (MGCE).

Informational Service of IERS

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