BCT have issued updated Covid-19 advice which means roost surveys can be undertaken this year, with some limitations. The summary for Somerset is on our website, with the full updated advice on the BCT website.
We can all help monitor the populations of bats, by either helping at an existing roost emergence count, or for the more experienced, by taking on a dormant roost or adding a new one.
- More information on the National Bat Monitoring Program (NBMP) Roost Emergence counts on the BCT website
- Any questions? Contact us
Most roosts are counted in June. Lesser horseshoe bat counts start in late May, while greater horseshoe bat counts take place in July.
Some roosts may be small with just one exit and hence require just one or two people, however others are vast with many exits, and different species, and might need a dozen or more folks all with eyes glued and clicker counters in hand. Hence there are lots of chances to get involved, and no experience is needed as full guidance will be given by the designated roost surveyor.
If you would like to help, you can either;
- Review the list of Roost sites, and contact the lead surveyor to let them know you would like to help. This helps the surveyor know how many to expect and hence plan with the landowner.
- Watch out for the requests for help on our Facebook page nearer the time when the lead surveyor has agreed dates with the landowner.
Counting a new Roost
If you have some experience identifying bats and know of a bat roost near you, or have bats roosting on your property, then you can help Bat conservation by counting bats emerging from the roost on two or more evenings during June.
The group has a stock of Bat detectors, and can help with loan of equipment if required.
There are several roosts that were surveyed in the past, but for various reasons have not been done for several years. There can be many reasons, from the surveyor moving away, or simply that the bats moved on. However after some time it could be worthwhile reassessing these roosts.
If you would like to help, then please review the list of dormant emergence roost sites, then contact the original surveyor who can give you the background.
The group has been participating in roost counts for many years, results are shown below.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a big impact, but some roosts were still counted.
- 3 Common pipistrelle roosts counted (-1 on previous year)
- 0 Soprano pipistrelle roosts counted (-1 on previous year)
- 1 Brown Long Eared roost counted (-1 on previous year)
- 2 Greater Horseshoe roosts counted (-1 on previous year)
- 2 Lesser Horseshoe roosts counted (-5 on previous year)
- 2 Natterer’s roost counted
- 2 Serotine roosts counted (+1 on previous year)
- 4 Common pipistrelle roosts counted
- 1 Soprano pipistrelle roost counted
- 2 Brown Long Eared roosts counted (+2 on previous year)
- 3 Greater Horseshoe roosts counted (+1 on previous year)
- 7 Lesser Horseshoe roosts counted, with bats found at 6
- 2 Natterer’s roost counted (+1 on previous year)
- 1 Serotine roost counted