Is the noctule bat really uncommon?

This article explores some of the challenges of assessing the significance of impacts on noctule bat Nyctalus noctula from onshore wind farms in the UK.

The article reviews discrepancies between sources with regard to the status of noctule in the UK, considers how differing conclusions relate to our own experience (from a sample of 52 sites), and questions whether the recent focus on this species in wind farm assessments is appropriate.

Implementation of the British Standard (BS) 42020

BSG Ecology has taken steps to ensure that we incorporate guidance from BS42020:2013, the Code of Practice for Planning and Development, within the delivery of our day-to-day work.   The responsibility for the successful delivery of the British Standard guidance lies with all parties involved with ecology in the planning system.

New office for BSG Ecology in Scotland

BSG Ecology, a leading provider of ecological consultancy services in the UK and Ireland are pleased to announce the official opening of its Glasgow office on 2nd March 2015.

Protected Species Training for The Parks Trust (Milton Keynes)

On 4 February 2015 BSG Ecologists Jim Fairclough and Hannah Bilston delivered a half day seminar on Protected Species¹ to The Parks Trust², the independent charity that owns and cares for many of the parks and green spaces in Milton Keynes.  This green space adds up to approximately 5,000 acres of river valleys, woodlands, lakesides, parks and landscaped areas alongside the main roads – about 25 percent of the new city area.

Golden Plover use of an Operational Wind Farm

Using our thermal imaging camera, BSG Ecologist Jenny James recorded this footage of golden plover foraging within a wind farm in England. The clip, recorded in January 2015, shows the plovers using a cultivated arable field at night, close to the base of an operational wind turbine. The birds are approximately 25m from the turbine’s base; several other turbines are present nearby. The lower sweep of the blades (clearly visible in the clip) is approximately 20m above ground level. From the footage, this golden plover flock does not appear to be affected by the nearby turbine.

Use of eDNA for detecting great crested newts – how effective is it?

In this article we consider the use of eDNA analysis of water samples to detect great crested newts, and discuss the results of some recent survey work.  Whilst we identify limitations that need to be considered, it is also recognised that the technique provides a useful additional method for detecting great crested newts, and we use it in appropriate circumstances at sites throughout the UK.  The method has been endorsed by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) at BSG Ecology

BSG Ecology is committed to tackling complex ecological issues successfully for our clients. We recognise that experience, skill and knowledge within our team are important in producing these results. All of our ecologists are members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), membership of which requires a minimum amount of continuous professional development to be completed each year. Regular investment in our team, through support of conference attendance and provision of access to in-house and external training, strengthens our skills set and provides an up to date and scientifically sound basis to our advice.

North Sea Ferries Bat Migration Research 2014

In 2014 we deployed bat detectors on two commercial ferries sailing routes through the southern North Sea. The two vessels were Flandria Seaways (DFDS Seaways) and the Pride of York (P&O Ferries), which sail from Felixstowe (UK) to Vlaardingen (Netherlands) and from Hull (UK) to Zeebrugge (Belgium) respectively. The aim of the study was to investigate the occurrence of bats over the North Sea, and to see if there were any clear patterns to records indicative of migration.

Pembrokeshire Islands Bat Research 2014

In 2014 we deployed bat detectors on the islands of Skomer, Skokholm and Ramsey, off the west coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales. The islands are between 0.8 km and 2.6km from the mainland.

The aims were to increase knowledge of the bat fauna and investigate evidence for migration through the identification of changes in seasonal bat activity. The detectors were set to survey from half an hour before sunset to half an hour after sunrise from spring to autumn, the most active period for bats and the peak migration seasons.

Partnering Swansea University: Dartford Warbler Research

During 2014 BSG Ecology provided training to two Master of Science students at Swansea University in order to help them develop their ornithological field skills.  This enabled them to complete research projects on a species of particular local interest, Dartford warbler.  The partnership was facilitated by the Access to Masters initiative, which is backed by the European Social Fund.  In this short article, Hannah Meinertzhagen summarises the findings of her study, and the benefit she got from partnering with industry professionals.

Stable Isotope Analysis provides further evidence of Nathusius’ pipistrelle migration

The extent of bat migration between continental Europe and the United Kingdom (UK) is poorly understood. BSG Ecology has been conducting studies looking at whether there is evidence of bat migration into and out of the country since early 2012.  Using static detectors at various coastal locations and on North Sea ferries, we have consistently recorded peak levels of Nathusius’ pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii (a migratory species of bat) activity during the migration season for the species on the continent.