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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Further Woodland Surveys

Two woodland surveys have been undertaken over the last two days. One at Dunstable downs and the other at Luton Hoo.

The National Trust's site (Dunstable Downs): No bats were caught in the net but common pipistrelles Pipistrellus pipistrellus were heard.

Luton Hoo: A new area was checked in this large site. Not many bats were heard but soprano pipistrelles Pipistrellus pygmaeus and an unknown speceies were heard. Bob has made a recording of the unknown and hopefully will be able to ID the species from it. No bats were caught in the nets.


Sunday, 10 July 2011

Bedfordshire's only Serotine Roost

Bedfordshire has only one known serotine Eptesicus serotinus roost, last year Phd student Caro Moussey came to the roost and ringed six bats as part of her Phd study. She returned in June but all the bats managed to escape the nets. On the 9th July she returned with a modified net and managed to catch six of the 11 bats in residence. Three of these had been ringed before and three hadn't. She has ringed the three (under licence) and taken samples for anaylsis.

Caro weighed and measured each bat, took a clip of fur for DNA anaylsis and took two biopsies from the wing (the bats are not harmed in anyway by doing this). The group noticed that on release from the hand the bats vibrated, with Caro saying this is typical serotine behaviour.

Caro's Phd is investigating the extent to which there is migration between serotine colonies in the UK and if there is migration from mainland Europe. She is also investigating genetic relationships between members of neighbouring colonies.

The Phd finishes in 2012 and the group are looking forward to the results.

The bat group hope to return to the roost annually to check how many of the bats come back each year.