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Friday, 6 July 2012

Habitat modelling for bats

For some years now scientists have been studying bat record and correlating them with a range of habitat features. From this they have developing models of where the particular species of bat is likely to be found. This is the work that Lia Gilmour is doing at Bristol university on Bechstein’s bat. We have been helping her look for this bat which has never been recorded in Bedfordshire. So far we have found nothing, but the weather has been dreadful She will be looking at sites in Wales in a few weeks.

Meanwhile a similar computer model has successfully predicted the occurrence of a very rare bat. This grey long eared bat was found in Wales- much to the delight of everyone involved
Orly Razgour the researcher who predicted where the bat would be, shares a lab with Lia Gilmour and we have donated bat droppings to her project from Daubenton.s Natterer’s and brown long eared bats we have caught, for use in comparative DNA studies.

A bad Bat Year

Photo Daniel Hargreaves

The Bat Conservation Trust has just posted the message below on Facebook. So far we have got off lightly in Bedfordshire but friends elsewhere are reporting large scale abandonment of young. In Beds the bats we caught earlier in the season showed little sign of pregnancy, so we think they will give birth later than usual.

We fund our bat care from donations made at talks and events.The Bat Conservation fields calls and passes them on to the relevant bat group. You can check whether the bat you have found is a youngster. ( Adult bats are not THAT big) here 2011-7 What to with a grounded bat
“A bad year for bats? (Please share widely.)
Batworkers are concerned that 2012 will be a difficult year for already struggling UK bat populations. In May 2012, the Bat Conservation Trust’s Bat Helpline (0845 1300 228) saw a 50% increase in calls relating to bat-care, and in June the number of calls about baby bats and bat maternity roosts has declined.
Read more:
The Bat Helpline (0845 1300 228) provides a unique and vital service, and is currently responding to over 100 calls a day. Please show your support and donate today:
Young bat photo Hazel Ryan

This tiny creature is in fact several days old, newborn bats are hairless.

NEw Bat Call Book

Great excitement in the bat world this morning as the new book by Jon Russ has finally been published after a very long delay. Thanks to Pelagic Press for coming to the rescue . At first glance it seems well worth the wait, especially as there are now colour illustrations of calls.
Thanks to Jon for giving such clear explanations