BCT Artificial Light and Wildlife Symposium 2014

Senior Ecologists Hannah Bilston and David Stiles attended the Artificial Light and Wildlife Symposium, organised by the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), in March 2014. A wide range of professionals came together to discuss the impacts that humans have on wildlife by the increasing use of artificial light in the night time environment; to hear the latest research on the subject and to look at ways in which the impacts of lighting can be avoided or mitigated.

Maximising occupation of bat boxes

Since 2008 Hannah Bilston, a Senior Ecologist in our Oxford office, has been monitoring bat populations in Finemere Wood, an ancient woodland in Buckinghamshire. The project was initiated by the North Bucks Bat Group (NBBG) in 2003 and formed the study site for Hannah’s MSc research into factors affecting bat box selection within Finemere Wood between 2009 and 2011. More recently, Hannah has been investigating ways to maximise occupation rates of bat boxes by maternity roosts of woodland bats.

Prideaux v. Buckinghamshire County Council and FCC Environmental UK Limited EWHC 1054, April 2013

A recent high court judgment (Prideaux v. Buckinghamshire County Council and FCC Environmental UK Limited EWHC 1054, April 2013) provides useful clarification on a number of issues relating to wildlife law and policy, and in particular the interpretation of the law concerning European Protected Species and the consideration of satisfactory alternatives as one of the three derogation tests set out in Regulation 53(9) of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.

Oxford Toad Patrol

Laura Grant from BSG Ecology’s Oxford office noted a number of toad casualties on roads when she moved to the New Hinksey area of Oxford. Last year she trawled the streets in spring on mild damp evenings to move toads, frogs and smooth newts to the breeding lake out of harm’s way.

Portland Bat Migration Study

Between August and November 2013 BSG Ecology deployed a static bat detector at Portland Bird Observatory, Dorset.  The aim of this was to identify any patterns of bat activity that may suggest bat migration at this site. The study formed part of a wider bat migration project undertaken by BSG, in which six coastal locations were sampled in 2013.

The potential ecological impacts of ground-mounted photovoltaic solar panels in the UK

As the number of solar parks in the UK increases, there is growing interest in the interaction of wildlife with ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. To date, a relatively low number of research papers have formed the basis for considerable discussion on the subject, and in some cases these have informed guidance relating to PV solar parks in the UK.

Bat Migration Talk at Sandwich Bay

Last night Laura Grant from  BSG Ecology’s Oxford office gave a talk entitled “An  Introduction to Bat Migration” to members of the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory.

Spurn Bat Migration Study

Between August and November 2013 BSG Ecology deployed a static bat detector at Spurn Lighthouse, East Yorkshire.  The aim of this was to identify if there were pulses of bat activity recorded might suggest bat migration.

Training for Professionals – Great Crested Newts and Mitigation

All over the country long strips of plastic fencing are now a common sight – a sign that an increasing number of ecologists and contractors are instigating great crested newt mitigation schemes.

Sound ecological knowledge and evidence-based application of this should inform how professional ecologists go about their business, and underpinning this is their proper training and development.

Seafaring bats – Evidence of Migration?

In 2007 Ahlén et al published an account of bats (both non-migratory and migratory species) foraging over the Baltic Sea at an off-shore wind farm in southern Scandinavia. That study and previous reports of bats being found on platforms in the North Sea (e.g. Russ, 2001, Boshamer & Bekker, 2008) have stimulated discussion about the extent to which bats cross or fly out over the sea on migration or to forage.

Laura Grant to speak at National Bat Conference (13-15th September)

Laura Garnt, a Senior Ecologist at our Oxford office, will be leading a workshop on Bat Migration at the Bat Conservation Trust’s annual National Bat Conference at the University of Warwick this weekend (13-15 September 2013). The workshop will be structured around BSG Ecology’s on-going research that aims to establish whether there is regular migratory movement of bats between the UK and mainland Europe.

Matt Hobbs to Speak at Spurn Migration Festival (7th September)

Principal Ecologist Matt Hobbs will present a talk to the Spurn Migration Festival in East Yorkshire on the subject of bat migration and BSG Ecology’s on-going research project to look at bat migration patterns at coastal sites around England. The event is the first of its kind in the UK and Matt’s talk will be incorporated into a busy programme of events during 6-8 September, that will include guided migration watches, sea-watching, bird-ringing demonstrations, moth-trapping and illustrated talks.