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Focus on: Bats

Bats or members of the chiroptera family (the term derives from the Greek for "winged hand") are the only mammals able to fly actively. They can do this thanks to a modification of the hand and arm, which have been transformed into a wing made of a thin membrane like skin, the patagium.

The European species are all nocturnal and insectivorous, they hunt by emitting ultrasound from their mouths and catching the waves rebounding through their ears and noses, depending on the species. Bats use the emission of different frequencies of ultrasound to move about safely in total darkness.

They are the undisputed leaders in population control of Lepidoptera and Diptera, insects which are often harmful to forests and many human activities. In the daytime bats usually rest in caves, hollow tree trunks or abandoned buildings, the choice depends on the biology of the single species. 20 of the 30 bat species found in Italy are present here in the Park. Amongst these, the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros), is of particular interest, because the only place in Piedmont where these bats are known to give birth is in this area.

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