As the number of solar farms in the UK increases, there is growing interest in the interactions of wildlife with ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels. Evidence of whether operational solar farms impact on biodiversity remains limited, however, particularly in a UK context. To address this, BSG Ecology has undertaken a literature review of worldwide research on the evidence of the impacts of solar farms on biodiversity.
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.
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.
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.
Bat Conservation Ireland’s National Bat Conference 2014 takes place in Cork on 11-12 October. The conference will cover a range of topics relevant to bat workers in Ireland including migration, bats and wind farms, genetics and longevity, general ecology and conservation.
In recognition of the growing importance of brownfield (or ‘open mosaic habitat’) for invertebrates, BSG Ecology is delighted to announce that it is working closely with Buglife - the Invertebrate Conservation Trust – through the joint funding and development of research into restoration and habitat creation techniques for brownfield sites.
There is currently considerable uncertainty as to the extent to which bats migrate in and out of the UK from Continental Europe, although many experts in UK bat ecology consider that some degree of migration occurs. Small scale research studies, development-related survey at coastal sites and records of bats on vessels and offshore oil rigs have provided indications that migratory movements occur in spring and autumn. However, this gap in current knowledge does not appear to be being addressed through strategic studies.