Bat work manual 26 (3791)

Identifying and counting bats in

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3.4.5 Identifying and counting bats in
hibernation sites
Ideally, hibernating bats should be counted when outside temperatures are both low and most stable.
This is when the numbers of bats visible in underground sites will be highest and also most stable. In Britain, January and February are generally the months with the most stable cold temperatures.
Because of the negative relationship between temperature and the number of visible bats, it is recommended that temperature be recorded when making a count and notes made about the previous night’s weather conditions. As the size and complexity of the hibernation site increase, the probability that all bats will be observed and counted decreases, thus it is also good practice to record some details about the site.
Horseshoe bats hang in the open from ceilings or walls but vespertilionid species often tuck themselves away in cracks and crevices and may not be immediately obvious. Horseshoe bats can also hang
from rocks and boulders close to the floor and other species may hibernate in loose rubble on the floor so tread carefully. Careful searching with alight suited to the circumstance is essential. Bats select a variety of places to roost but most vespertilionid bats are found within a few 100 m of entrances,
which are associated with the lowest temperatures.
Lesser horseshoe bats can also be found in such places but are commonly found much deeper underground where temperatures are warmer and more stable.
In all survey work great care must betaken to avoid disturbing bats unnecessarily. Do not make excess noise or stay near bats longer than is necessary and do not shine bright lights on bats for longer than is required to identify them. Arousing hibernating bats can affect their ability to survive through to the spring, so the aim of surveyors should be to count and identify bats without handling them. If identification is difficult, as with whiskered and
Brandt’s bats for example, make a note of the uncertainty rather than arousing the bat.
Identification of the Myotis species without handling them takes practice and experience and the best way of learning is to accompany an experienced bat surveyor. Further guidance is given by Greenaway & Hutson (1990). No licence is required to search sites where bats have not previously been found, but unlicensed surveyors must withdraw if bats are found so that bats are not intentionally disturbed. Many bat hibernacula or potential hibernacula can be improved for bats by appropriate management such as grilling or altering the airflow (see Chapter. The scientific evaluation of the effects of such practices is an important part of these projects and as much information as possible should be collected both before and after any changes have been made.
The value of such work is greatly increased if numbers of bats at the site can be monitored for one or two winters before any works take place or if a comparable control site can be monitored at the same time. Examples of such studies are given by Stebbings (1965, 1992) and Vote & Lina (1986).

Health and safety in bat work
Catching bats
Ringing and marking
Public relations
Conserving and creating bat roosts
Bat workers manual 09acknowledgements
Bats and the law
Law enforcement – gathering evidence
Convention on the conservation of
Public inquiry confirms importance of lesser horseshoe bat roost
Taking bats into captivity
Advice to the public who find grounded bats
Advice on bats and rabies
Dust and insulation
Wasp, bee and hornet nests
Survey and monitoring
Day surveys of potential roost structures
Case study – bats in barns survey
Case study – the bats in churches project
Bats and echolocation
Bat detectors
Basic equipment required:
Sonogram analysis
Extraction from hand-nets
Figure 4.1hand-nets. polythene around the lip prevents bats climbing out.figure 4.3
Single-pole flicking
Chapter 4 c atching bats44two-pole flicking
Chapter 4 c atching bats463
Testicular descent
Chapter 5 examining bats50figure 5.1
Parturition and lactation
Fur colour and texture
Wing span, and head and body length
Mites, including ticks (acari)
Bat-bugs (hemiptera, cimicidae)
Fleas (siphonaptera, ischnopsyllidae)
Bat-flies (diptera, nycteribiidae)
Rabies surveillance
Chapter 5 examining bats56sending dead bats by post
References and further reading
Handling, releasing and keeping bats
Moral considerations
Adultstemporary debility or injury likely to heal
Permanent captives
Bat conservation trust - guidelines on bats in captivity
Insects and substitutes
Vitamins and minerals
Weaning and rearing orphaned bats
The role of a bat group
The bat conservation trust
Bats on the internet
Bats in the living area
General fear of bats
Damage to buildings
Transmission of disease
Interior design fora huge roost of (smelly) bats
Legal position (simplified)
Outside the breeding season
Insects in droppings
Speciesnumber of roosts
Summary – exclusion of bats
Summary – visit to householders who have discovered bats
Security alarm systems in buildings
Timber treatment, pest control
During breeding season
If bats are torpid
Fungicidescommon name
If bats are active
Outside breeding season
Fusible link shutters
Case study - window and lintel replacement
Case study - roof refurbishment
Case study – timber treatment and roof renovation
Excessive disturbance
Destruction, maintenance or change of use
Chapter 11 conserving and creating bat roosts112figure 11.1
Grade b sites without protection.
Grade 4 (many sites)
Grade 1 (fewer than 10 sites)
Railway tunnel enhancement
Cave construction
Manipulation of airflow and temperature
Reopening of blocked sites
Provision of additional roosting points
Chapter 11 conserving and creating bat roosts122figure 11.5
Figure 11.5 (continued)
Converting a pillbox for bats
Bat conservation code
Wildlife and countryside act 1981 &
Tree preservation orders
Maintaining roosts
Creating roosts
Case histories of bridge maintenance works
Examples of roost creation within bridges
Appendix 1140figure a1.1
Appendix 1142figure a1.1
Appendix 3 9
Grid reference.
Biological records centre single species card
Monitoring methods
Hibernation counts
Bat speciessc
Appendix 4150participation and experience required
A selected bibliography
A european bats – identification,
C children’s books
Appendix 5154d journals, magazines and newsletters
Bat research news
Useful names and addresses
The environment and heritage service
Department for environment, food and rural
Non governmental organisations
National association of mining history
The national trust
Subterranea britannica
Equipment suppliers
Pettersson elektronik ab
Bernies cafe and caving supplies
Watkins and doncaster
Holohil systems ltd
Titley electronics
Jacobi jayne & co
Mealwormslive foods direct ltd
Bat workers training syllabus
Circumstances requiring consultation
Licensinglicensable activities
Appendix 7164other licences
Bat biology and ecology
Basic ecology
Bat conservation
Persecution and intolerance
Presenting bats to the public
Safety underground
Appendix 7168training checklist
Model risk assessment for entry into disused mines (cont)
Model risk assessment for initial entry into derelict and dilapidated buildings and structures
Model risk assessment for initial entry into derelict and dilapidated buildings and structures (cont)
Model risk assessment for entry into confined spaces
Model risk assessment for entry into confined spaces (cont)
Health and safety at work etc act 1974
Health and safety legislation
The carriage of dangerous goods
References legislation
Appendix 9178for laboratory use only

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