The aim is formation of positive and kind relation to bats among people.
The program history. The first steps on information distribution on bats were taken in 1999 in V.N. Karazin Kharkov National University (KhNU). The main building of KhNU was taken fancy by bats and they occur there abundantly yearly during autumn migration. Unfortunately hundreds of bats died in frameworks, there were cases of bat murders by guards (bats were crushed by shoes). That times the leaflets with information on bats and contacts of university zoologists. The regular pickup and saving of bats in KhNU building were established.
Next stage of education program is associated with grant from Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy, the project «Saving of flying migrants» (2002). Due to this support the first leaflets about bats in city of Kharkov, causes of their appearance and about rules of conduct with these animals. The window leaves in Kharkov university building where the bats were caught most often were drawn by meshes. The first lectures in schools were delivered. This experience proved to be effective on the KhNU building level but less effective on the whole city level. For example, in the neighboring with KhNU building – Derzhprom bats were kept killing by tens or even hundreds.
Next stage of educational program was the project «Kharkov Bat Education Program» supported in 2007 by international fund Bat Conservation International (USA). The leader of this project was associated professor of KhNU Alexander V. Naglov and the team included 5 researchers – employees and students of KhNU. On this stage it was succeeded to increase significantly the target group of educational program and to publish thousands examples of different press products (from pocket calendars and leaflets to posters. The lectures on bats were delivered in schools, young naturalists circle, among students. The significant work was carried out on distribution of leaflets about bats among Kharkov people. The most tangible result of this project stage was the change of relation to bats among Derzhprom employees. In fact it was succeeded to stop willful killings of bats in Derzhprom. The information on bats of city and contacts was placed on Kharkov Zoo site. The number of appeals about bats from the others city quarters increased significantly. The number of animals gathered during winter exceeded 300 and continued to increase by some hundreds every year beginning from 2008. That time an idea to create special Center of bat rehabilitation arose. The results of this project were published in journal BATS edited by Bat Conservation International.
The educational excursions for young naturalists and schoolchildren were continued to be carried out. In 2012 the new stage of educational program has began and it started from the Bat Night. During 2013-2014 winter near 20 TV reports about bats were filmed for national and international channels. In spring 2013 the first in Ukraine mass educational action the festive release of bats in Feldman Ecopark. On this stage we could claim that every second or third resident of Kharkov saw the report about bats on TV and knows that these animals are included to the Ukrainian Red List and they live in Derzhprom building. In 2013 we got a valuable financial support for bat research and conservation from Feldman Ecopark, and the educational concept has became one of the most priority. In spring 2013 we got a grant from Federal Ministry of environmental conservation of Germany (in the framework of EUROBATS program) to develop “Kharkov educational program on bats”. Due to this organization and Alexander Feldman Fund support a new lot of informational production was published (booklets, calendars, brochures, labels) about bats in Kharkov that is successfully expanded among the residents of Kharkov of all the ages and professions.
Methods. The main method of educational program is the social intercourse both private and during public actions, delivery of reliable and truthful information about bats to the people at personal contacts or by press products or TV programs.
The target group of this program includes all the residents of Kharkov and region independently on age and field of activities, but most often it is schoolchildren, young naturalists and Kharkov people partial to animals and nature visiting mass educational actions, exhibitions and lectures by themselves.
There are some results of 2012-2014 in numbers, facts and photo-reports
– The international bat night in Kharkov (2012, 2013);
The festive release of saved in winter bats in Feldman Ecopark (2012, 2013);
– The conference on bats for schoolchildren and young naturalists;
– Visiting multimedia-lectures (with demonstration of live bats) in schools, boarding schools, libraries, young naturalists’ circles.
– Cognitive evening excursions with observations on the bat life in nature (with listening of bat sounds using the ultrasound detector);
– Interactive and cognitive exhibitions on bats (for example, photo-exhibition in Central Scientific Library of V.N. Karazin Kharkov national university exhibition on “Scientific picnic”, exhibition in “Landau-center“).
If you wish to know more about bats and to look at these amazing animals nearby, invite us. We will be charmed to collaborate. All our actions, lectures and excursions are free of charge.
Supported by: A. Vlaschenko, A. Prylutska