Barbastelle radio tracking research has been carried out extensively over many years by Geoff Billington and GreenaEco at a number of sites in the counties of Devon, Wales, Norfolk, and Somerset, for commercial impact studies and pure research studies. This has revealed new details of roosting choices, habitat ranges, and seasonal variations of this complex and often difficult to track species.
Research on Barbastelle was continued in Somerset in 2008, funded by Greena Eco. Two Barbastelles were tagged when they were captured high up in a triple high net during a capture session on the ‘Bats in Woodlands’ course in July 2009. These two bats led us to new tree roost sites in Horner Woods. Geoff returned and caught from these new tree roosts and tagged more Barbastelles, discovering other new tree roost areas in Horner Woods.
Greater horseshoe radio tracking research has been carried out over a number of years, the data of which has been published for the following sites:
- Brockley Hall Natural England research report number R442
- GH bat project 98 – 03 Natural England report number R532
- Chudleigh Cave Natural England research report number R496
- Mells nr Frome Natural England research report number R403
- Buckfastleigh Natural England research report number R573
- Caen Valley Natural England research Report R495
- Tamar (Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project)
- The Forest of Dean (Natural England Research report NERRO 12 and R1N012)
Further research will look at tracking pregnant females from a roost in the Forest of Dean to find out more foraging information during a different time of year.
Lesser horseshoe radio tracking research was carried out in 2008 in Bristol at two roost sites located close to one another, and previously to that, lesser horseshoes have been tracked in several other locations in England and Wales. The lesser horseshoes radio tracked by Greena Ecological Consultancy have often been found to be travelling further than other tracking studies in the UK show. Lesser horseshoe bats are particularly susceptible to becoming stressed when handled and so require very careful handling techniques.
Exmoor National Park commissioned bat surveys to be carried out by Greena Ecological Consultancy to ascertain presence and concentrations, carried out using walked transects and trapping with harp traps and mist nets in specific woodlands to ascertain bat species presence and areas of high activity levels within the woodlands.
* Please note that considerably more unpublished radio tracking studies have been carried out by Greena Ecological Consultancy, where road schemes or large commercial developments are proposed close to a bat roost, but these pieces of work remain the property of the client who commissioned the study and these studies are therefore they are sadly not permitted to be in the public domain.
Greena Ecological Consultancy has organised several research trips to areas within France and also Crete, Kefalonia, Rhodes, Ikaria and Chios, Kos, Andros, and Lesvos bat research annually, in order to ascertain species presence in areas previously only sparsely studied or with no previous studies carried out. All research findings are provided for the biodiversity maps of the country where the research is conducted. We are making the trips to islands chosen by Dr Panagiotis Georgiokakis and usually work in close collaboration with both him and Eleni Papadatou in order to comprehensively target the most useful islands. The purpose of this research is to gain wider understanding of the ranges of bat species as the Greek islands are likely to be developed for tourism more actively in the coming years.
All of the islands we visit (apart from Crete) have had little or no research at all for bats carried out since the 1960s, so frequently the list of species identified as present goes from 9, to 17 or more. We capture the bats to make ID, take wing punches for DNA reference, and we make audible ID for Tadarida Teniotis, which is very difficult to capture while foraging (though we did have an exciting capture of one female in our super triple high net in Crete!).
If you would like to take part in assisting with this research, please take a look at the GreenaEco Research pages.