Bats across the UK
Finding new ways to track bats and protect them for the future
Bats make up nearly a quarter of our mammal species here in the UK but many are rare and under threat
In order to save our bats we need to accurately find out where they are and how many there are. This is easier said than done with a fast flying nocturnal animal.
Our understanding of our 18 types of bat has been hampered by the difficulty in distinguishing between them and the time consuming process of analysing recordings of bat calls. This information is essential to help us work out how best to protect and conserve them.
New technology allows us to collect and analyse large amounts of bat records however it is still too costly to be used at a large enough scale to build a national picture.
In 2013 we funded a project working with a number of organisations and members of the public in Norfolk to monitor bats on a huge but cost effective scale. This trial resulted in over 300,000 high quality bat records, including several scare or localised species. This compares with about 1,000 bat records which are normally submitted to the local records centre for the county each year.
Following on from this successful trial we need to roll out this type of approach all over the UK in order to take action to protect our precious bats where it is needed most.
We are working with BTO, Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group and Norfolk Myotis Study Group to critically evaluate the trial and its findings, to fine tune our methods for studying bats nationwide.
Read a recent press article about our project