Environment Minister Mihael Zmajlovic joined in the promotional campaign “Adopt a Bat” on Saturday, becoming a member of an 800-strong family of bat lovers who have adopted these nocturnal animals.
Zmajlovic visited Medvednica Nature Park and its facilities, the renovation of which is financed by the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection with 1.7 million kuna, as part of the International Bat Night event.
A new, energy efficient LED lighting system which prevents a negative impact on the environment has been installed in the Veternica cave as part of the national project “Natura 2000”. The access path to the cave and a children’s playground have been renovated and an info stand will be set up.
The Bat Night is an opportunity for the public to learn more about bats, one of the most endangered animal species. There are as many as 1,150 bat species in the world and nearly 180 are endangered due to habitat destruction. In Croatia, there are 35 bat species, including 24 on Mount Medvednica, overlooking Zagreb, and all are protected under the law.
The Veternica cave has as many as 18 bat species as well as several rare and endemic underground invertebrate species.
The European Bat Night is marked on the last weekend in August with the aim of raising public awareness of the need to protect these animals because of a decline in their numbers in the world. On this occasion, an event called “Living upside down is not easy” will be held at Zagreb Zoo from 6pm to 10pm on Saturday.