Dead bats in Pitve, July 2019

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

  • Anne-Marie Trevelyan dismisses those who believe in global heating as ‘fanatics’ in resurfaced posts

    The new international trade secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has been accused of rejecting the science behind the climate emergency after a series of tweets came to light showing her dismissing those who believe in global heating as “fanatics”.

    Labour has condemned the appointment of Trevelyan, who was elevated from junior business minister, which took in the brief of promoting clean growth, to replace Liz Truss, the new foreign secretary, as part of Boris Johnson’s reshuffle on Wednesday.

    Continue reading...

  • The Cop26 climate summit will be an opportunity to put fossil fuel companies on trial through the court of public opinion

    Fossil fuel companies bear as much responsibility as governments do for humanity’s climate predicament – and for finding a way out. Our planetary house is on fire, and these companies have literally supplied the fuel. Worse, they lied about it for decades to blunt public awareness and policy reform.

    There’s no better time for ExxonMobil and other petroleum giants to be held accountable than at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November. The Glasgow summit is more than just another international meeting. It is the last chance for world leaders to limit future temperature rise to an amount that civilization can survive. Doing so, scientists say, will require a rapid, global decline in oil, gas and coal burning.

    Continue reading...

  • Minister reveals plans to change laws inherited from EU, with rules on medical devices also in crosshairs

    Rules on genetically modified farming, medical devices and vehicle standards will be top of a bonfire of laws inherited from the EU as the government seeks to change legislation automatically transferred to the UK after Brexit.

    Thousands of laws and regulations are to be reviewed, modified or repealed under a new programme aimed at cementing the UK’s independence and “Brexit opportunities”, David Frost has announced.

    Continue reading...

  • Despite protests from locals and Green councillors, wildlife haven will become hard courts at cost of £266,000

    A wildflower meadow containing 130 different flowering plants, dragonflies and rare bats that sprung up on Norwich’s last public grass tennis courts has been bulldozed.

    Despite protests from local people and Green councillors, all-weather hard courts with floodlights and fencing are being installed in Heigham Park, where species including whiskered and brown long-eared bats, pygmy shrews, hedgehogs and 18 species of dragonfly have been recorded.

    Continue reading...

  • Scientists say ozone hole is unusually large for this stage in season and growing quickly

    The hole in the ozone layer that develops annually is “rather larger than usual” and is currently bigger than Antartica, say the scientists responsible for monitoring it.

    Researchers from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service say that this year’s hole is growing quickly and is larger than 75% of ozone holes at this stage in the season since 1979.

    Continue reading...

  • Doctors say Mathew Richards’ life expectancy has been shortened due to exposure to hydrogen sulphide fumes

    The high court has ruled the Environment Agency must do more to protect a five-year-old boy from landfill fumes that doctors say are shortening his life expectancy.

    In a landmark judgment on Thursday, a high court judge said he was not satisfied that the EA was complying with its legal duty to protect the life of Mathew Richards, whose respiratory health problems are being worsened by fumes from a landfill site near his home in Silverdale, near Newcastle-under-Lyme.

    Continue reading...

  • Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, more than 1m tonnes of radioactive water has been building up at the power plant in central Japan. Soon the plant will run out of space to store the water, which is a big problem. The plan at the moment is to dump it all in the sea. So how do you go about making 1m tonnes of radioactive water, safe to drink?

    Continue reading...

  • EPA data reveals that one of America’s biggest PFAS-making plants is second largest polluter of highly damaging HCFC-22 gas

    A new analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data has revealed that PFAS chemicals – often known as “forever chemicals” due to their longevity in the environment – are contributing to the climate crisis as their production involves the emission of potent greenhouse gases.

    In recent years, an ever-expanding body of scientific research has shown that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are among the most toxic substances widely used in consumer products.

    Continue reading...

  • They are essential for trapping carbon, and world leaders must commit to protecting them, write a group of conservationists

    News that the perilous plight of endangered grasslands is not fully recognised in a EU draft anti-deforestation law (Leaked EU anti-deforestation law omits fragile grasslands and wetlands, 14 September) brings into sharp focus the dangerous underappreciation of a global habitat that has a crucial role in the fight against climate change. Grasslands aren’t just crucibles of biodiversity, playing home to a wealth of wild plants, fungi, butterflies and bees, they also possess an as-yet underreported ability to lock down carbon. Given that up to 30% of the Earth’s land carbon is stored in grassland, these sites are every bit as important as other ecosystems in the fight against greenhouse gases.

    The Grasslands+ campaign, supported by some of Britain’s leading conservation charities including Plantlife, Butterfly Conservation and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, is calling for international protections for our planet’s grasslands, savannas, plains, heaths, steppes and meadows to help mitigate the impact of climate change and increase biodiversity. The UK government, the EU and other world leaders must commit to restoring, enhancing and protecting these habitats at Cop26 in Glasgow.
    Ian DunnCEO, Plantlife;Gill PerkinsCEO, Bumblebee Conservation Trust; Julie WilliamsCEO, Butterfly Conservation

    Continue reading...

  • When residents in Union Hill, Virginia, decried the pipeline as a form of environmental racism, the energy company insisted it wasn’t

    As fracked gas fields in West Virginia boomed over the past decade, energy companies jumped at the chance to build massive new pipelines to move the fuel to neighboring east coast markets. The 600-mile Atlantic Coast pipeline would have been the crown jewel.

    But Union Hill, Virginia – a community settled by formerly enslaved people after the civil war on farm land they had once tilled – stood in the way. Residents fought against a planned compressor station meant to help the gas move through the pipeline, arguing that because Union Hill is a historic Black community, the resulting air pollution would be an environmental injustice.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds