Jim Mullholland, Technical Officer
A research project funded by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the Arboricultural Association will investigate the potential to improve bat surveys of trees using trail cameras.
The research project will investigate the potential to improve bat surveys of trees using trail cameras.
The project will build on recent research that has illustrated a low encounter rate of bats when using conventional methods. The five-year project will involve radio tracking of two species of woodland bats (barbastelle and Bechstein’s) to locate maternity roosts for each species. Once a number of roosts have been located, the trail camera experiment will be set up. The project aims to ascertain whether cameras can be used in place of conventional surveys and provide guidance on their use to improve the chances of a positive result.
The project will also aim to investigate whether bat roosts can be created in young trees by deliberately wounding them. Whilst this practice, sometimes called veteranisation, has been undertaken for several years on sites with important populations of wood decay fungi and invertebrates, there is limited research on whether these techniques can be used to create bat roosts. New roosts will be created in close proximity to existing ones and trail cameras will be deployed to monitor whether they are used.
Work is due to get underway in May 2020. Further updates will be provided as it progresses.
This article was taken form Issue 189 Summer 2020 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.