LONDON:-Extreme weather appears to be disrupting the life cycle of Europe's bats. Scientists were alarmed to find that some bats in Portugal skipped winter hibernation altogether this year while others gave birth early. The findings add to growing fears that rising temperatures are having unpredictable effects on bats, birds and other wildlife. Bats born early in the year may suffer due to lack of insect food. "It's a phenological mismatch," said Dr Hugo Rebelo of the University of Porto, who is studying the impact of climate change on several Mediterranean bat species.

"What this means is that the bat birth is more or less synchronised with the time of emergence of insects so that when bats give birth there are plenty of resources to feed on and then to feed their own pups.