29 Apr 2022 BSG Ecology Short-Listed For Innovation Award At The CIEEM Awards 2022
BSG Ecology is delighted to announce that Principal Consultant Ecologist Gareth Lang has been shortlisted for the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Innovation award.
Gareth, with support from BSG Ecology, has developed a camera specifically for recording use of trees by roosting bats. The ‘BatCam’ allows motion-triggered recording of video clips that include footage from before, during, and after a motion event, such that conclusive evidence of bat emergence or re-entry is recorded in full. This solves the detection delay problem found with traditional trail cameras.
Determining whether bats use potential roost features (PRFs) is currently extremely challenging. Tree roosts often show irregular use by bats (which regularly switch roosts), and evidence of bat presence can rapidly disappear. The BatCam can be mounted at height, will record for more than 14 consecutive nights on a single charge, and can have its batteries changed and be downloaded from ground level.
Testing has demonstrated that the BatCam provides greater certainty over whether Potential Roost Features in trees (and other structures) are used by bats than is possible through standard snapshot survey methods, and that the camera enables robust data collection alongside significantly reduced survey time and costs. The camera therefore provides a solution to an issue that concerns numerous bat ecologists (including no doubt those who have developed industry standard guidance). Namely, how do we assess whether a PRF is used by bats in a robust but proportionate and cost-effective manner.
We are currently in the process of manufacturing fifty units for further (final) testing by academic institutions, specialist consultancies and conservation organisations. Performance feedback will inform product refinement. Further production runs will follow, with the intention that the unit becomes widely accessible.
The BatCam is a hugely innovative project which has potential to move a key aspect of consultancy survey forward. The development of the camera and subsequent shortlisting for the award is a great accolade for Gareth and BSG.
If you would like assistance with commercial-scale bat survey or assessment work, please contact us