Batty new year! Online courses and request for feedback from SERC

We wish all our members a batty new year, with the hope we can resume group activities at some time this year. In the meantime our advice on bat group events remains unchanged from what we published last July.

In this message we have:

  • A request for group members feedback for the Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC)
  • Info that the BCT have sent us on a series of online courses and events that bat group members can join
  • As if the current Covid and Bird Flu situation wasn’t bad enough, we also have news of a EBLV-1 positive serotine bat from Somerset

Update from SERC and request for feedback

Leon, the Records Centre Manager from SERC, has asked us to share with our members this broad overview of some of the projects and discussions that SERC have been involved in over the past 12 months, and has also requested feedback from their valued specialist recording groups, like ourselves. Please reply to leon.debell@somerc.com by Friday, Feb 26th 2021.

Online courses (sent via the BCT)

The BCT recently sent us details of some exciting forthcoming events:

Discover the wonder of bats – Wednesday 13th January at 7pm on Zoom

In an effort to engage new audiences with the wonderful world of bats, Shirley Thompson (BCT’s Honorary Education Officer) will be giving an introductory 30 minute talk followed by a Q&A session. The talk is free to all (although we encourage and appreciate donations which will go toward running the National Bat Helpline).

Find out more about the talk on the BCT website at:https://www.bats.org.uk/events/discover-the-wonder-of-bats or book a place at: https://bats.sym-online.com/registrationforms/test/talk-13012021/. We are keen to reach as wide an audience as possible with this interesting introduction to these amazing animals.

Wales Bat Worker’s Day Online – Saturday 30 January

Booking is now open for the Wales Bat Worker’s Day which will be taking place on Zoom on Saturday 30 January. The day will include an interesting programme of talks and workshops as well as the wales Bat Workers’ Forum. More details can be found on the event webpage: https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/conferences-symposia/welsh-bat-conferences/wales-bat-workers-day

You can book your place here: https://bats.sym-online.com/registrationforms/walesbwday2021/

Big Bat Skills Event Online is returning on Friday 12 February

The workshop timetable is currently being confirmed and booking will open soon. Register your interest in the event and be among the first to find out which workshops are on offer when booking opens, email training@bats.org.uk

Thermal Imaging training online

BCT is delighted to be partnering with Dr Kayleigh Fawcett Williams of Wildlifetek to offer two Thermal Imaging online training programmes. Both courses are delivered in line with the Thermal Imaging Bat Survey Guidelines and are open for booking now.

Thermal Imaging Basics is a 6 week online course providing foundational training in Thermal Imaging and is an ideal introduction for wildlife enthusiasts and professionals who want to see or hear more of wildlife. The course will run from Tuesday 23 February.

Thermal Imaging for Wildlife Applications – Advanced is a 12 month online training programme designed for consultant ecologists and wildlife professionals who would like to improve their wildlife detector or survey accuracy. During the course you will receive help to complete your training checklist from the Thermal Imaging Bat Survey Guidelines. The next course will start from Tuesday 20 April.

Any questions about any of these events, please contact Naomi Webster, Training and Conferences Manager, nwebster@bats.org.uk.

Online talk – Bats of Romania – 13Jan21

Warwickshire Bat Group is hosting another talk on Zoom on Wednesday, 13th January.

“We have been fortunate to have Dr Szilard Bucs agree to speak to us on the bats of Romania and would like to give more bat lovers the opportunity to hear what will be a fascinating talk.”

All the details, including how to book a place, are in this pdf flier. Please contact Warksbats by using the email enquiries@warksbats.co.uk if you have any queries.

EBLV-1 positive serotine from Somerset

Lisa Worledge, the BCT Head of Conservation Services set us the following just before Xmas

“You may have heard already, if the bat worker involved is a member of the Somerset Bat Group, but Defra have informed me this morning of a EBLV-1 positive serotine from Somerset. At this stage I only have the basic information (the bat was found and taken into care on 9th December where is subsequently died and was submitted for testing). I’m happy to let you know as and when I get more information. The case is list on the GOV.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rabies-in-bats#monitoring-rabies-in-bats-in-great-britain (note this page only includes passive surveillance cases not the active surveillance case). In that it mentions Taunton but usually the place listed is just the nearest large town or city to where the bat was submitted from.

As with the previous cases of EBLV, all of our advice and guidance remains the exactly the same (gloves, irrespective of species, vaccinations if regularly handling bats, etc. as per the rabies guidance on our website https://www.bats.org.uk/resources/resources-for-bat-groups/useful-links-documents).

We will include details of this in the January Bat Group and Bat Carers Bulletins. We won’t mention anything other than the county and basic information. This will be our only communications because these cases should be treated as business as usual now. We know EBLV-1 is present in serotine bats in the UK, although all cases to date have been from Dorset, it is not a surprise that we have a case from a neighbouring county. However, I do understand this is the first EBLV bat from Somerset so please do let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Happy Christmas and best batty wishes for 2021!

Best regards, Lisa

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