Specialist bat research is carried out by GreenaEco every year, either in the UK or abroad, including various regions in Southern France, Crete, Kefalonia, Rhodes, Ikaria, Chios, Kos, Andros, and Lesvos – please check out the Research Trips page if you would like to join in on a GreenaEco Research trip. While the purpose of these trips is to discover the bats present within the areas chosen, (not bat tourism) they are also highly educational, enabling you to gain some bat trapping and netting skills plus bat handling, recording and ID of European bat calls. The European Research trips are also very good fun!
Research surveys are frequently carried out in difficult-to-access areas and often involve radio tracking the more difficult species of bats. High quality data collection is essential for baseline assessments, which in turn will give a more reliable outcome for mitigation strategies or management plans.
Bat capture in traps and nets is a pre-requisite for radio tracking. If radio tracking is carried out properly, it is an unsurpassed method of acquiring definitive information on bat activity or species presence. Greena Eco will not allow inexperienced radio tracking staff to work alone and always use radio tracking staff with at least ten or more separate radio tracking studies experience. Barbastelle radio tracking research has been carried out at sites in Wales, Devon, Somerset and Norfolk. Geoff also assisted and advised in Barbastelle research recently conducted on Dartmoor by a research student. Barbastelle bats are a personal favourite of Geoff’s! Radio tracking research has also been carried out for greater and lesser horseshoe bats.
Trapping and mist netting is also useful for ascertaining with certainty the species present in an area. Trapping and netting of bats is a highly skilled technique and Greena Ecological Consultancy staff have a great deal of experience in this area, having caught 16 of the UK bat species and handled literally several thousand individual bats. GreenaEco use a variety of strategies for bat capture, including harp traps and sonic lures (with specially adapted multi-directional speakers for increased range), and double high or triple high nets, to assist in the capture of higher flying species. A special licence must be obtained prior to every individual survey involving the need to capture bats.
Ringing bats is only appropriate for certain long term studies requiring re-capture. Geoff Billington is very experienced with ringing bats, having been involved with studies to ring 8 of the UK bat species. Bat ringing requires high skill and dexterity in order to ensure that the experience of having the ring fitted is not too traumatic and the bat remains unaffected by the ring on the forearm in the future.
Transect surveys are carried out to determine species presence in a given area and these surveys can identify ‘hot spots’ for bat activity, plus they will determine some of the flight paths used. High quality bat detector equipment such as the Pettersson D240X, Pettersson D1000, Batbox Duet, Anabat walkabout, or a Batcorder, are chosen specifically for each situations, and will ensure to the best possible likelihood that all species present can be recorded for post survey computer analysis using BatSound4 or Analook Further study can then be carried out if necessary at specifically targeted areas.
Bat Lures are used in certain situations in order to determine if a specific species is present and it can be very effective, but a lure must always be used with caution.
If you need Greena Ecological Consultancy to carry out bat research in UK or Europe, please make an enquiry directly to Geoff or go to the Quotes page to request a free quote.