Dead bats in Pitve, July 2019

Published in Nature Watch

Two dead bats lying close together on their doorstep were a sad surprise which greeted a couple in Pitve on the morning of July 24th 2019.

Colony, pipistrelli kuhlii. Colony, pipistrelli kuhlii. Photo courtesy of the Croatian Natural History Museum

Experienced veterinarian Susan Corning looked over the poor distorted creatures and could see no sign of external wounds. The death of a pair of bats with no obvious evidence of injury is unusual.

Dead bat in Pitve. Photo courtesy of Susan Corning and Andrew Hilton

This led Susan to the suspicion that the bats might have died from poison. Just five days previously, in the early hours of Friday July 19th, the local authorites had performed the second 'fogging' action of the season, spraying the streets  throughout the Jelsa Council region with pyrethroid poison. Was this a coincidence? As a scientist, Susan was suspicious that the two events might be connected. Without going to the trouble and expense of an autopsy, the cause of death cannot be certain. But as bats eat insects, including mosquitoes, that might have been a source of ingestion. The authorities claim that the pyrethroid used, Cipex 10E, is 'harmless to warm-blooded creatures'. This is untrue. It is well established that the active ingredient of Cipex, Cypermethrin, can be fatal to cats. It is probably also toxic to dogs in high concentration, as well as being harmful to humans*. Its action is on the nervous system. If it does not kill the target insects outright, it causes frenetic hyperactivity. On 14th June 2018, for instance, the morning following the 'fogging' action through Pitve, wasps were still busy around a nest they had built right by the road, which had inevitably been sprayed with the cocktail of poisons used that year. Their numbers were reduced from the previous day, and the activity of the survivors was haphazard. It looked as if the poor souls were trying to do their best, against the odds.

Wasp nest activity the day after being sprayed with insecticide. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

So, after the fogging actions,  poisoned insects will still be flying about to be eaten by birds, bats and other insects, causing a trail of collateral damage. Details of individual cases like these bat deaths may be open to question. There is no doubt that the poisons inflicted on the environment by the fogging actions are contributing to a devastating loss of biodiversity on Hvar. The combined effects of the pesticides used by the local auithorities and those used by individual farmers and gardeners are causing ecological disaster. Bats are among those once-plentiful creatures whose numbers have declined drastically.

Finding dead wildlife is not what people come to Dalmatia for. On the contrary, they expect a clean, unpolluted natural environment, filled with nature's exquisite creatures. The only way to fulfil their wish is for the island to 'go organic'!

© Vivian Grisogono 2019. 

With thanks to Susan and Andy for sharing the sad information

*Note: See our article on the adverse effects of pesticides for more details about the harmful effects of cypermethrin. 

 

 

You are here: Home Nature Watch Dead bats in Pitve, July 2019

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Exclusive: major supplier to brands including KFC and Nando’s used offshore companies allowing them to reduce UK tax payments, investigation suggests

    The global megacompanies supplying some of Britain’s most popular meat brands, including KFC, Nando’s chicken and Sainsbury’s organic range, appear to have been using offshore companies that allow them to avoid paying millions of pounds in tax in the UK.

    An investigation by the Guardian and Lighthouse Reports has found that two companies – Anglo Beef Processors UK and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (owned by Brazilian beef giant JBS) – appear to have reduced their tax bill by structuring their companies and loans in a way that allows them to take advantage of different tax systems, in what one expert has described as “aggressive tax avoidance”.

    Continue reading...

  • Nature protection rules in proposed investment zones would in effect be suspended

    There was little room for doubt about the reaction to the prime minister’s plans to scrap environmental regulations this weekend. “Make no mistake, we are angry. This government has today launched an attack on nature,” tweeted the RSPB, its most forceful political intervention in recent memory.

    Liz Truss’s proposals to create investment zones, where green rules on nature protection would in effect be suspended, represented a step too far for some of Britain’s biggest environment charities. “As of today, from Cornwall to Cumbria, Norfolk to Nottingham, wildlife is facing one of the greatest threats it’s faced in decades,” the RSPB went on.

    Continue reading...

  • Prominent members of farmers’ union express dismay after comments by Minette Batters

    Farmers are threatening to quit the National Farmers’ Union after its leader said she supported the UK government’s apparent move to scrap post-Brexit nature subsidies.

    This weekend, the Observer revealed that the government was poised to abandon the “Brexit bonus”, which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups have described as an “all-out attack” on the environment.

    Continue reading...

  • Stars of film about 500-mile trek to Scotland for Cop26 hit the road again for Bristol premiere

    There will be no red carpet, no designer outfits and definitely no limousines. In fact, the stars of the film have shunned any sort of mechanical transport and instead walked 135 miles from London to Bristol for the premiere, and are asking their audience to accompany them by foot on their last leg before the screening.

    The film, which is being premiered on the harbourside in Bristol on Tuesday evening, is Of Walking on Thin Ice (Camino to Cop26), which tells the story of a group of climate pilgrims who hiked 500 miles from the south of England to Scotland for last year’s climate conference in Glasgow.

    For more details and tickets visit the Encounters film festival website.

    Continue reading...

  • Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire:It feels like sitting in a crypt – I am surrounded by the skeletons of dried perennials

    I try not to make excuses so I’m just going to tell the truth: everything in my garden is dead. The drought was fierce and I was sick, distracted. I couldn’t bear to look at it but I’m trying to look now.

    It feels like sitting in a crypt. I’ve pulled up a damp chair and I am surrounded by skeletons, the limbs of my perennials dried, bent and snapped. The hydrangea’s flowers have turned to ghostly brown lace too soon, drooping leaves turned almost black like prayer flags. There is copper, rust and blood; piles of viburnum leaves dropped early in fright. The penstemon looks as if it has been set alight then frozen, its orange flames still and hellish. When the rains finally came, too late, the parched snails came out of hiding and ate everything that was left. Talk about overkill.

    Continue reading...

  • Movement aims to make the mass damage and destruction of ecosystems a prosecutable, international crime against peace

    California winemaker Julia Jackson has long grasped the threats posed by the ongoing global climate change crisis, from more intense wildfires and hurricanes to rising sea levels. But for her, those ideas crossed over from the abstract to the tangible when her home was razed by the Kincade wildfire that devastated her native Sonoma county in 2019.

    “I lost everything – all my belongings,” Jackson said. “It shook me to my core.”

    Continue reading...

  • The deaths within days of 11 sturgeon, a species unchanged for thousands of years, have puzzled scientists

    When the first spindly, armour-clad carcass was spotted in the fast-flowing Nechako River in early September, Nikolaus Gantner and two colleagues scrambled out on a jet boat, braving strong currents to investigate the grim discovery.

    Days later, the remains of 10 others were spotted floating along a 100km stretch of the river in western Canada.

    Continue reading...

  • Defra accused of ‘all-out attack’ on environment by wildlife groups

    The government is to scrap the “Brexit bonus” which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups are calling an “all-out attack” on the environment, the Observer can reveal.

    Instead, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) sources disclosed, they are considering paying landowners a yearly set sum for each acre of land they own, which would be similar to the much-maligned EU basic payments scheme of the common agricultural policy.

    Continue reading...

  • Super Typhoon Noru tore its way out of the northern Philippines on Monday, leaving casualties, floods and power outages. Government work and classes at schools have been suspended in the capital and beyond

    Continue reading...

  • David Malpass apologises after saying he ‘doesn’t know’ if he accepts climate science

    David Malpass, president of the World Bank, faces an uncertain future this week, after the White House joined a chorus of influential figures in condemning his apparent climate denialism.

    Malpass remains in post for now but under severe pressure, despite issuing an apology and trying to explain his refusal last week to publicly acknowledge the human role in the climate crisis.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds