New research shows an increasing number of bats in Iceland, most likely arriving via cargo ships.
The research, published in the journal Acta Chiropterologica under the title “A Review of the Occurrence of Bats (Chiroptera) on Islands in the North East Atlantic and on North Sea Installations”, placed primary focus on newly discovered species of bats in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands, and North Sea installations.
Vísir reports that 40 separate bat sightings have been recorded in Iceland in 2012. Most of these bats were found in southwest Iceland, especially in the capital area.
It is speculated that the bats – which are not native to Iceland – arrived by cargo ship, although the researchers believe that the recent increase in bat sightings can also be attributed to “improved communications, increased public awareness, increased shipping, changes in weather patterns and/or the effects of climate change. All factors appear to be involved.”
The bats are also more likely to be seen in the autumn than any other time of year, and are prone to venture out to fly at dusk.