Bechstein’s radio tracking update – 4Mar22

Our chair Paul, has just sent this update on this exciting project:

“We’re finally plunging ahead with the Back From the Brink project on Bechstein’s bats. Our target wood will be Swell Wood RSPB reserve near Fivehead off the A378.

There would be two tracking periods each lasting about a week due to tag battery life, currently we’re thinking of 2nd to 8th May for pre-breeding and then 25th to 1st August for post-breeding.

There will be a classroom-based training/introduction day with some radiotracking practice in the afternoon on April 16th. I haven’t booked a venue for this yet but I’m thinking of the Bow Wharf in Langport.

The training is open to any bat group members and RSPB staff and volunteers who wish to help with the radiotracking including the tracking itself. The trapping nights will be popular so we will have to heavily restrict numbers for those. There may be very limited opportunity to look at other species of bats due to current Covid-19 guidelines on contact with bats. At present we will just release any non-target bat species immediately. I’m hoping that things may relax a little by the summer in this regard, but can’t promise anything.



To recap on the project specifics. It is a joint project with Dorset Bat group as part of the Bechstein’s “finding its limit” project. 

  • Lots of volunteers required, willing to stay up for one or two nights during the weeks tracking.
  • As it is “all night”, volunteers are expected not to go to work the following day.
  • Volunteers will need to be fully paid up SBG or DBG members to be covered by Third Party Insurance.