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Bat Shelter Initiative Wins National Award

The Funchal City Council (CMF), through the Funchal Ecological Park, together with the Basic School of the 2nd and 3rd Cycles Dr. Horácio Bento de Gouveia, have won the Biodiversity: Preserve and Regenerate contest of the ECO-Escolas programme with their ‘Project for Monitoring Bat Shelters in the Ecological Park of Funchal.’

One of the main objectives of this project is to make school communities aware of the importance of biodiversity conservation, by carrying out works focused on this theme, which in this particular case  bats, as they are the only native mammals of the Madeira archipelago.

The fieldwork of these students consisted essentially of placing boxes/shelters in different areas of the Park, characterising the habitat and monitoring the shelters in order to detect the presence/absence of the three species of bats, namely the grey-eared bat ( Plecotus austriacus ), the Madeira bat ( Pipistrellus maderensis ) and the small arboreal bat ( Nyctalus leisleri verruncosus ).

At the same time, several activities were carried out at the school to demystify and sensitise the school community to the importance of conserving wildlife, which is essential for maintaining the health of ecosystems and the services they provide us that are essential for our survival.

This nationwide project attracted projects from seventy-two schools.

Samantha Gannon

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