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What Is The National Bat Monitoring Programme?

Of the 17 bat species in the UK, the greater mouse-eared bat is on the brink of extinction and has only been seen a few times since 1990. Four UK species are listed as internationally threatened according to the IUCN Red List (2006). Bats and their roosts have been legally protected since 1981, but it appears that many of our bat species have declined dramatically over the last sixty years.

For this reason, the Bat Conservation Trust has been running the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) since 1996 with core funding from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) since 2001.

The NBMP enables us to track changes in bat populations across a range of habitats with the invaluable assistance of a network of volunteer surveyors.

Since the NBMP began, more than 2,000 volunteers have completed surveys at over 3,200 roost and field sites, adding up to a remarkable 15,000 evenings of work.

Population Trends
The data that we have already collected has indicated population changes in some species. We need to continue to survey the UK’s bats for many more years in order to determine whether these are long-term trends or simply short-term fluctuations.

We produce annual population trends for each target species. The latest significant trends are shown here, showing population increases for four of them: common pipistrelle, Natterer’s, Daubenton’s and lesser horseshoe.

The trends shown in these charts are for the bats covered by the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) and other bat species respectively. Population trends are described as ‘stable’ when there is no statistically significant trend. cont >>



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