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The City Council installs 46 nest boxes with the collaboration of the association Meles (31/05/2018)

It is a first phase, which will be completed with another 40 boxes

The participatory budgets for 2017, at the proposal of the association Meles, contemplated an action oriented to the installation of nest boxes, as a measure of support for the recovery of this group of mammals in population retreat and natural biological control against mosquitoes and other invertebrates harmful to human beings.

For this, the Department of Environment proceeded to perform an analysis on the best options, which concluded in the purchase of a total of 80 nest boxes specially designed for bats.

They were chosen flat because they do not usually require cleaning maintenance, as well as because they are less attractive for the installation of rodents and swarms of wasps and bees.

They were also chosen as raw color because in case of receiving sunlight they do not tend to accumulate as much heat as blacks.

This and other species of bats (generic name of this group of flying mammals) are in clear population decline due to different environmental factors, among which are the phytosanitary products (they are used against invertebrates that are then eaten by bats), the disappearance and water mass pollution and, in the case at hand, the demolition of old houses where cracks and holes serve to condition their nests and shelters or even the direct plugging of these.

Hence the importance of providing urban centers with facilities that allow their use as a refuge and a nesting place.

Although the data oscillate according to the source consulted, it is generally estimated that a single bat can catch more than 3,000 flying insects in one night.

The biologist Kathrin Barboza has studied in the city of Madrid the capture capacity of the common bat or dwarf bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), a species present in the Region of Murcia.

He has estimated that in one hour a specimen of this mammal can capture up to 600 mosquitoes.

Distribution of the different types of boxes

► Triple chamber or colonial boxes (16 boxes): mainly in areas where public spaces are scarce to place more boxes.

► Single-camera boxes (30 boxes): mainly in areas where more nest boxes can be placed in the vicinity.

Also in areas that, due to the data from previous years, have detected a greater proliferation of mosquitoes and other insects that are annoying to humans.

● On facade or similar (21 boxes): when the area has a municipal building in conditions to install a box.

● On tree (25 boxes): when the area does not have a municipal building or even counting, it is considered more appropriate to use a tree or both locations.

The subsequent follow-up of all the boxes definitively installed will serve to determine the most suitable locations and orientations, transferring to other places those that are not used or changing the orientation when deemed appropriate.

Cost of the performance

The total cost of the purchase and supply of the nest boxes (including the 40 that are reserved for a second phase) amounts to 3,267 euros, VAT included.

The installation, carried out by two municipal workers, began on May 14 and ended on May 28.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Alhama de Murcia

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