Bat Group Bulletin

 

  1. EBLV Positive Bat from Northumberland
  2. Investigations and Mitigation Project Funding Award
  3. Mitigation Case Studies Forum – A Call for Case Studies
  4. Would a 2nd edition of BCT’s Professional Training Standards be useful?
  5. Scottish Bat Workers Conference 2016
  6. Channel Islands Bat Conference 2016
  7. A Request for Examples of Noisy Bat Roosts
  8. Perception of Downgrading of Bat Protection Legislation
  9. Winner of Pete Guest Award 2016
  10. Help BCT Win a Share of £20,000
  11. Bat Research Papers, Reports and Other Publications
  12. Key Dates for Your Diary

 

  1. EBLV2 Positive Bat from Northumberland

Another Daubenton’s bat has tested positive for European Bat Lyssavirus strain 2 (EBLV2) (a rabies virus), this time from Northumberland. As with the case last month, the bat was submitted to the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) as part of the on-going passive surveillance scheme.

Despite being the second case this year, it is not a cause for concern as we have known of the presence of EBLV2 at a very low level in our Daubenton’s bat population for a number of years. The presence of the virus in a small number of bats (a total of 14 positive bats, including this most recent case) does not affect the UK’s rabies-free health status. There was no bite incident (neither person nor animal) associated with this case and therefore Public Health England have confirmed that there is no public health risk linked with this incident.

A letter from the APHA is being published in the Veterinary Record about the latest EBLV2 cases and the overall situation in the UK. Unfortunately this is not an open access journal but you can read the abstract online at: http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/179/12/311.4.extract. If you would like the full letter please email Lisa Worledge (lworledge@bats.org.uk).

If you have any questions about this case or the general situation relating to rabies in the UK there is information on the BCT website at http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/-bats_and_rabies-1099.html  or you are welcome to get in touch with the National Bat Helpline (enquiries@bats.org.uk or 0345 1300 228).

The Good Practice Guidelines on Bats & Rabies are available from the BCT website at: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/resources_for_bat_groups.html  and it is important this information is shared with bat group members.

In the August Bat Group Bulletin we included details about the APHA passive surveillance programme and a reminder about rabies vaccinations and the wearing of gloves. You can read that edition of the Bulletin on the BCT website at: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/bat_group_bulletin_no._136.html

 

  1. Investigations and Mitigation Project

We are delighted to announce that, following our application to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EFF) in January this year, we have received confirmation of funding for our Investigations and Mitigation Project.

The EFF funding secures and increases the capacity of our Investigations Officer, Pete Charleston, for the next three years so that we can continue to raise awareness and lobby for more appropriate sentencing for bat and other wildlife crime. Thank-you to all those Bat Groups who have supported this work over the years – you have been instrumental in our progress to date!

Working towards improving the approach to bat roost mitigation is part of the package because this will make developers more likely to follow the best practice route than opt to commit a crime. The EFF funding secures new, fixed term posts for a Field Researcher and a Field Assistant, who will investigate both the implementation and effectiveness of bat roost mitigation by visiting sites for a cross section of licensing and planning cases. The results of a desk study and two seasons of fieldwork will be used to assess what further action is required to improve implementation and provide guidance on effectiveness. In addition, we will build a new and improved Roost website, create a new bat mitigation award and we will be holding a Mitigation Case Studies symposium in January 2017 (see below).

 

  1. Mitigation Case Studies Forum – Call for Case Studies

As mentioned above, BCT’s Bats and the Built Environment Project will be running a Mitigation Case Studies Forum on 24th January 2017 at the Arup Headquarters, London. The key aim is to promote the importance of monitoring in ensuring success in mitigation schemes by sharing best practice and lessons learnt. This event concerns biodiversity in general, not just bats!

We are currently seeking case studies for the event. To submit a case study, we will require a title and 250 word abstract. Details about what the abstracts should contain and the types of case studies we are looking for can be found at: http://www.bats.org.uk/news.php/341/mitigation_case_studies_forum_call_for_case_studies. The  deadline for abstracts is 5pm on Friday 21st October.

 

  1. Would a 2nd edition of BCT’s Professional Training Standards be useful?

In 2012 BCT produced the Professional Training Standards which aim to provide a set of standards for professional bat surveyors (consultants, ecologists, etc) relating to bat work in the UK. This document was in line with BCT training courses and the 2nd edition of the Bat Surveys: Good Practice Guidelines. We are currently considering the possibility of producing a second edition of the standards. Prior to this we have put together a short survey to understand if and how the first edition is currently used and whether a second edition would be of value. We would be very grateful if you could spare 5 minutes to complete our survey: http://www.eSurveysPro.com/Survey.aspx?id=d189dd39-51f9-4e06-a648-39abe8bd6a12. The survey will close on 30th September.

Any questions please contact Helen Miller (hmiller@bats.org.uk).

 

  1. Scottish Bat Workers Conference 2016

The Scottish Bat Workers Conference will be taking place on Saturday 19th November at Battleby. Booking is due to open in early October. Talks to include: The Southern Scotland Bat Survey (BTO), Bat Social calls, (Neil Middleton), The Work of Noctalis, a German education centre with a focus on bats (Dr Anne Ipsen), plus updates on the work of Scottish bat groups, BCT and research projects.

 

  1. Channel Islands Bat Conference 2016

The second Channel Islands Bat Conference is taking place on Jersey on the weekend of 29th and 30th October. This event is being organised by the Jersey Bat Group and has a great range of speakers from around the UK as well as interesting workshops. There will also be a Halloween themed party on the Saturday evening. There are still a few places available, so for more information and to book a place see: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/channel-islands-bat-conference-2016-tickets-26376492800

 

  1. A Request for Examples of Noisy Bat Roosts

Arcadis are looking for examples of roosts in close proximity (within 0-50 metres) of a significant noise source. Ideally this would be a maternity roost, but if not, then a roost with a reasonable number of individuals in it (not a transient roost). There needs to be a clear ‘line-of-sight’ from noise source to roost, and we need to be able to gain land access reasonably close to (but not necessarily within) the roost. It would be helpful if the noise source was not integral to the roost, so: bats in a church within earshot of bells, bats close to a road, bats close to light industry or a non-nuclear power station, or even a hydroscheme, would be of interest. Bats roosting within a structure that is an integral part of the noise generation (i.e. within a road/rail bridge or tunnel) are also of interest, but may prove to be less useful for the purposes of this study. If you know of any roosts fitting this description, please contact paola.reason@arcadis.com.

 

  1. Perception of Downgrading of Bat Protection Legislation

Back in July we asked if people could report any incidents where individuals or organisations have expressed views showing that they believe European Protected Species have less protection now than before the EU referendum, or that people don’t need to take account of them in the same way. We have had a number of examples mentioned to us by other conservation organisations and feel it is important to capture evidence of cases relating to bats. However, we only received one response in relation to bats and are, therefore, asking again just to make sure we aren’t missing any cases.

 

So, for example, if someone gets in touch with your bat group and suggests that ‘bats are no longer protected now we’re coming out of Europe’ or you have dealings with a local planning authority that thinks they may no longer need to take account of protected species in their decision making, please can you email Lisa Worledge at lworledge@bats.org.uk

 

  1. Winner of Pete Guest Award 2016

Thank you to everyone who nominated people for the 2016 Pete Guest Award and/or voted. A total of 13 bat workers were nominated by BCT members, bat groups, NBMP volunteers and bat carers, this year. This was the most nominees we have ever received, and we also received the most votes ever.

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated. This year’s winner was James Shipman from Berkshire. James was nominated for his commitment and his contagious enthusiasm for bat conservation in the UK and Gibraltar, along with his encouragement of new volunteers from all walks of life. He is the Chairman of Berks & South Bucks Bat Group and one of the founders of the GibBats project. The full details of James’ nomination, along with that of the other nominees and more information about the award is available on the BCT website at: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/nationalconferenceawards.html

 

  1. Help BCT Win a Share of £20,000

BCT has been nominated for a chance to receive a share of £20,000 from Animal Friends Pet Insurance. In order to win a percentage of the £20,000 we need votes from our supporters. The greater share of the total votes we receive, the bigger the share of the donation. Votes can only be made via Facebook or Twitter and are based on shares and re-tweets of the official ‘charity link’ which is:

https://www.facebook.com/FeelGoodPark/photos/a.186205168068315.39359.147924838563015/1215568581798630/?type=3&theater

We are ‘competing’ with 2 other charities (Folly Wildlife Rescue and Wildlife Aid Foundation). Voting ends on the 27th of October so please share widely!

 

  1. Bat Research Papers, Reports and Other Publications

Please note we normally only include bat related articles, reports and blogs in this section where they are available to read online or to download without charge. Exceptionally we do include details of papers or other items where we think they will be of particular interest but where only abstracts or summary information is available, but we will include a note of that in the text about the article.  For more information about how to access journal papers see the BCT website at: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/accessing_journal_papers.html

 

  • Bats and Wind Turbines Research – The much anticipated report based on the University of Exeter research on bats and wind-turbines was released earlier this month. More information and the full publication can be found at: http://www.bats.org.uk/news.php/342/bats_and_wind_turbines_research_project. Guidance, based on this research, is due out in due course. The on-going work by the University of Exeter, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, has also developed an online tool, www.ecobat.org.uk to help stakeholders to interpret acoustic survey work conducted at wind farm sites. Detailed assessments of potential risk factors that can be used to predict collision rates at wind farms are also ongoing.

 

 

 

 

  • Finding flowers in the dark: nectar-feeding bats integrate olfaction and echolocation while foraging for nectar – This paper by Gonzalez-Terrazas, et al and published in Royal Society Open Science, looks at how nectar feeding species combine smell and sound for effective foraging. The full paper can be read online at: http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/3/8/160199

 

  • Predicting bat distributions and diversity hotspots in southern Africa – This paper by Rachael Cooper-Bohannon (the 2016 Vincent Weir Award winner) et al, looks at the use of species distribution models to predict bat species richness across southern Africa and the drivers of these spatial patterns. The full paper, published in Hystrix, can be downloaded from: http://www.italian-journal-of-mammalogy.it/article/view/11722

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Key Dates for Your Diary

Watch this space for dates and reminders of conferences and other events you may be interested in. Please don’t forget you can get some extra publicity for your events by adding the details to the BCT website at:  www.bats.org.uk/events.php

 

BCT Events

  • 24–30 October – Wild About Gardens Week 2016 is a joint initiative by the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts and Bat Conservation Trust to encourage people to support bats and other wildlife in their gardens. Keep an eye on the website http://www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk/
  • 19 November – Scottish Bat Workers Conference, Battleby near Perth. ** Save the date** Bookings to open in early October.
  • 26 November – South East England Bat Conference, The Living Planet Centre, WWF, Woking, Surrey. Bookings will open in the new few weeks and more details will be added to the BCT website shortly. Details of the last event can be found online at: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/seconference.html
  • 24 January 2017 – Mitigation Case Studies Forum, Arup Headquarters, London. More details about this event are to follow but there is a call for case studies, please see: http://www.bats.org.uk/news.php/341/mitigation_case_studies_forum_call_for_case_studies_

 

Other Events

 

Back issues of the Bulletin (a rolling 12-months) are available on the BCT website at: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/back_issues_of_the_bat_group_bulletin.html (bulletins are typically added a few weeks after being circulated to bat groups).