BSG Ecology staff provide industry-standard peer training, and the practice regularly undertakes small-scale bat-related research in order to further our professional understanding. We have experience of projects relating to many of the UK’s rarest bats, and have specialist knowledge of species including Bechstein’s bat, barbastelle, horseshoe bats and Nathusius’ pipistrelle.
Various of our staff also provided editorial advice and written input to the first and second editions of the Bat Conservation Trust’s national survey guidance.
Bat Survey Capability
A high proportion of our ecological staff are licensed to handle bats and use endoscopes to investigate potential roosts. Some hold enhanced licences allowing them to use of acoustic lures and capture bats in mist nets and harp traps. These latter methods are increasingly required by local authorities when determining impacts of development on species of bats, such as Bechstein’s bat, which cannot be determined by their call characteristics. One member of staff is also a Registered Consultant with Natural England, which permits them to use the Low Impact Bat Class Licence at registered sites. A few staff are also accredited to climb trees to inspect potential roost sites.
Our in-house team is complemented by regionally-based specialist sub-consultants, with whom we have long-standing relationships. This capacity and capability allows us to undertake bat survey work anywhere in the UK and Ireland to a high technical standard and enables us to deploy large teams of skilled field workers in a cost-effective manner.
Our bat survey and data analysis capability includes:
- Designing and undertaking walked transect surveys;
- Remote survey using static bat data loggers (such as SM2 and Anabat detectors);
- Building inspections:
- Assessment of the potential of building features to support bats
- Inspection of internal roof spaces and other voids for roosting bats
- Activity surveys (dawn and dusk surveys) to record bats emerging from or returning to roosts
- Collection of droppings for DNA analysis to confirm species where appropriate