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Nietoperek bat and nature reserve is less than 30 minutes from our guest house in Chycina.

There is an extensive subterranean system of bunkers and tunnels referred to as MRU (Miedzyrzecz Fortified Region) near Miedzyrzecz in the Lubuskie province, north-west Poland. These fortifications were built on the orders of Adolf Hitler and formed Germany’s ‘East Wall’ (Ostwall) defensive system (for more information on the tunnels and bunkers of the MRU click here).

Today, sections of this underground bunker complex serve as one of the most important winter hibernation roosts in Europe for at least 12 species of bats.

During winter months some of the rarest bat species in Europe come together in large numbers in the tunnels of the underground bunker system around the village of Nietoperek (literally translated as Place of Bats) near Miedzyrzecz. Most researchers agree that approximately 35,000 bats can be found here during the winter months. Many of these bats are rare or endangered species such as the Barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus) and the Mouse Eared Bat (Myotis myotis).

Some of the Europe's rarest bat species, including; the Greater Mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis), Barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus), Bechstein's bat (Myotis bechsteini), Whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus), Natterer's bat (Myotis nattereri), Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii), Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), Northern bat (Eptesicus nilsonii), Brandt's bat (Myotis brandtii), Pond bat (Myotis dasycneme), and the Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) have been found roosting in the Nietoperek bat reserve.

The underground tunnel system is in many ways an ideal place for bats to hibernate. The reason for this is because the temperature in the tunnels is a constant +10 ºC. If during its winter hibernation a bat’s temperature drops below zero ºC the bats will likely freeze to death. If it is too warm, bats will starve to death due to the rise in their metabolic rate causing them to burn-up their fat reserves.


& the Nietoperek Bat and Nature Reserve in north-west Poland

Picture courtesy of Andrew Harrington

Picture courtesy of Andrew Harrington

Picture courtesy of Andrew Harrington