BSG Ecology’s bat migration research recently featured on both BBC Radio Humberside and the BBC Look North regional news programme on 25 August. Both programmes focussed on the recording of migrating bats at sea from detectors mounted on two North Sea ferries.
We recorded Nathusius’ pipistrelle on several occasions at considerable distances offshore (in the middle of the North Sea), apparently migrating in spring and autumn. Several of the bats were also recorded close to dawn which may indicate that one reason they are coming close to the vessels is to roost when tired and vulnerable to predation. The work adds further weight to the contention that bat migration through the southern North Sea occurs regularly, and on a relatively broad front.
Thanks are due to the chief officers on the P&O vessel Pride of York and the DFDS freight vessel Flandria Seaways for agreeing to deploy the bat detectors, and to MARINELife and Envisage Wildcare for supporting the work.
A summary of our bat research and the results from each year of work, including the ferry report from 2014, can be found on our research page