Somerset Big Bat Count

As part of the Great Somerset Wildlife Count, the bat group will enable people to count the bats of their local area with a community mapping project.

The aim of the Big Bat Count is to enthuse everyone about wildlife mapping and the fascinating world of bats, and to monitor changes in both the variety of bat species and the number of bats, that we have across Somerset.

How will a Big Bat count work?

Teams of people cover different parts of a local area, with bat detectors that allow them to, listen to, and automatically identify the species of bat making their echolocation calls.

The teams record their bat observations on their phones using an online bat count map in the iNaturalist app. The count lasts for 90minutes after sunset.

Full details of how the Big Bat Count works are to be published shortly.

When are the results available?

Immediately! The great thing about an online map is everyone can see the results from all the other teams straight away. We will meet back at base at the end of the count, for a quick summary of the night’s findings from bat experts.

How do I get involved?

The bat group plan to offer two types of Big Bat Counts:

  • Public events – A open event promoted in the press and social media, that local people can book onto. Our current plan is for public events in:
    • Central Taunton on 26th August 2022
    • Frome in May 2023
    • Another Somerset town in May 2023 – Get in touch if you would like it to be your town!
  • Group events – Any community group in Somerset can ask to do a Big Bat Count with their members in their local area. So Wildlife, Gardening, Church, Guides (… etc) groups please do get in touch if your group would like help from experts to do a Big Bat Count on your patch.

Want to know more about other wildlife counts?

The Great Somerset Wildlife Count is Somerset Wildlife Trust’s (SWT) new community science initiative delivered in partnership with Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC).

Lots more details, including how to take part, are on their website: https://www.somersetwildlife.org/wildlife/great-somerset-wildlife-count

Thanks!

SERC logo

The Somerset Bat Group is grateful to the Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC) for funding the new equipment used in the Big Bat Counts, and for help with mapping.