Shedding light on bat behaviour: conservation research project

Research Life

Posted on Mar 17, 2012

Landrover As UK bats hibernate during the winter we conduct field research during the months of April to September. We work at sites across south west England from Gloucestershire all the way through Someret, Devon and Cornwall. We also have three sites in Wales. Fieldwork is very intense and we spend at least three months solid working from site to site spending around 7 nights per site.

Field Equipment

camp In order to illuminate the flight paths we have alot of large field equipment. We use two portable street-lights weighing 250kg each which have to be transported on and off sites using a trailer and landrover. Lights are powered using a silenced Honda generator weighing in at 50kg. We have ten AnaBat remote ultrasonic detectors to record bat activity and also use light meters, hand held bat box duet detectors and infrared video equipment to enable behavioural observations.

Emergence & Commuting Surveys

campEvery evening we conduct emergence counts at the roost during the lighting experiments. We stand and count bats as they emerge, recording time and light levels. At the same time we also conduct behavioural observations at the illuminated hedgrow to record how bats respond to light disruption along their commuting route. During the day we download the data from the AnaBat detectors and work through all the bat call sonograms in Analook 3.3Wg to identify which bats have been using the hedges.