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Bat Group Bulletin No. 152

Bat Group Bulletin No. 152: 29 January 2018 

  1. State of the UK’s Bats Report
  2. Change to BCT CEO
  3. National Bat Care Conference 2018
  4. Wales Bat Workers Day
  5. Natural England Bat Advice Service Review Update
  6. National Bat Conference Call for Abstracts Reminder
  7. Help the Helpline this Summer!
  8. Northern Bats Call for Submissions
  9. Request for Photos of Bats in Bridges & Tunnels
  10. Spring Courses from BCT
  11. Bat Research Papers & Reports
  12. Key Dates for Your Diary

1. State of the UK’s Bats Report

The latest State of the UK’s Bats report was launched towards the end of last week. It summarises the latest bat species population trends and also looks at some new initiatives from the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP). The report also looks at some of the results in more detail in order to highlight key findings and conservation issues. The report is available from the BCT website.

A huge thank you to everyone who takes part in the NBMP, the production of trend information and other research around NBMP data would not be possible without all of your efforts. .  

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2. Change to BCT CEO

After nearly 20 years at BCT Julia Hanmer (Joint CEO of BCT with Kit Stoner) has decided it is time to move on to new challenges and will be leaving at the end of March. She will remain as Joint CEO with Kit Stoner until the end of March 2018, Kit will then take over as full-time CEO on 1 April 2018. Everyone at BCT will miss Julia but we wish her all the best for the future and we know bat conservation will always remain close to her heart.  

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3. National Bat Care Conference 2018

Bookings are now open for the National Bat Care Conference 2018, to be held on Saturday, 24 February at Salford City Academy in Manchester. This event is being organised jointly with Maggie Brown of the West Yorkshire Bat Hospital & Bat Care News, and BCT. Maggie Brown has a really exciting programme planned, including talks and workshops on managing rabies risk, examining bats, reuniting pups with their mothers, and making sure young bats have learned what they need to know before they're released. There will even be a workshop introducing bat care to complete beginners.  

For more information or to book your place please see the BCT website.

Bat Care Records Request

For the conference Tricia Scott, a bat carer based in Warwickshire, has a request for carers. Would you be willing to share details of the species, weights and lengths of the bats you have had in care? If so please complete the spreadsheet on the event webpage  and email to Tricia. Tricia will then present the collated results back to the conference and demonstrate the value of shared records. 

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4. Wales Bat Workers Day

Bookings for the Wales Bat Workers Day 2018 will open on 14 February. More details can be seen on the event web page

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5. Natural England Bat Advice Service Review Update

As part of their review of the Bat Advice Service, Natural England ran eight Volunteer Bat Roost Visitors (VBRVs) & trainee VBRVs Bat Review Workshops during September and October plus a webinar for those who could not attend a workshop in person. A member of BCT’s Senior Management Team was present at each workshop and a representative of the National Bat Helpline was also present offer support or guidance where needed.

In December Natural England sent a report to VBRVs that collated the comments made during the eight consultation workshops, the webinar and via the bat review mailbox. In that same mailing Natural England provided information on the second part of the Bat Advice Service Review, including a set of questions that form the second phase of the consultation. The deadline for responses is Wednesday, 31st January. BCT will be making a submission to this second consultation.

Natural England anticipate providing a final report to VBRVs in March giving their conclusions and plans for the service.

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6. National Bat Conference Call for Abstracts Reminder

The National Bat Conference 2018 will take place on 7-9 September 2018 at the University of Nottingham, bringing together bat enthusiasts from across the country to discuss cutting-edge research, share best practice and develop their skills and knowledge.  The Programme Selection Team have extended the deadline for the submission of abstracts. More details can be found on the BCT website.

Please do get in touch with Naomi Webster, BCT’s Training and Conferences Manager, via email or call 020 7820 7169 if you have any questions or would like to express an interest in giving a talk but do not yet have an abstract prepared.

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7. Help the Helpline this Summer!

Out of Hours Service logo of a long-eared bat wearing a telephone headsetFrom 1 May to 30 September when bats are active and most likely to be found grounded, volunteers help BCT to run an emergency Out Of Hours (OOH) helpline for emergency calls on evenings and weekends. After attending a fun training day, volunteers on OOH Bat Watch answer calls from the public in the comfort of their homes and receive full support from BCT staff throughout the project.

Volunteering on the OOH Helpline can sometimes be challenging but is a very rewarding experience for beginners, experienced bat workers and everyone in between. This opportunity is ideal for those wanting to get involved in conservation from home and can be a great way to learn more about bat rescue and rehabilitation. Volunteering on OOH can also be a great way to improve your communication skills, but really the project is ideal for anyone with the passion to talk enthusiastically about bats to callers. It would not be possible to run such a service without the volunteers and their help is hugely appreciated.

2017 was our second busiest OOH season ever with 39 volunteers taking 2334 calls throughout the season. More information about how the project is organised can be found on our website along with a full report on OOH 2017.

How to Volunteer

We are now recruiting for the 2018 season. All volunteers will need to attend one of the Out of Hours training days:

  • Sat 7 April – London
  • Sat 14 April – York

BCT are able cover travel expenses up to £100 and provide lunch and refreshments. Please register your interest by getting in touch with Hannah Van Hesteren on 0345 1300 228 or by emailing us to book your space. Spaces typically fill up very quickly!

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8. Northern Bats Call for Submissions

Northern Bats is an on-line journal for publishing the results of bat work in the north of England. Volumes 1 and 2 are available as pdf downloads from the Northern Bats website

We are now looking for articles for the third edition and we would welcome contributions on any bat related information within the northern England region.  Northern Bats covers bats and bat work in the geographical area covered by the Bat Conservation Trust’s list of North East and North West England bat groups.

The ethos of Northern Bats is to provide a forum for information that might not otherwise be published, from full-length papers to brief notes on items of interest.  Northern Bats relies on contributions from bat workers in the region; your help is needed to keep this journal alive and relevant. Please see the website for more details on how to submit an article.

We have just added links to historical bat articles on the Northern Bats website, these include some fascinating insights into bats and bat work in the region, showing how much we have learnt and how methods have changed over time.

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9. Request for Photos of Bats in Bridges & Tunnels

Do you have any images of bats and bat roosts in bridges and/or tunnels that you would be prepared to share with BCT for use during a new training course? Full credit will be given to photographers of course! If you can help please email BCT’s Built Environment Officer, Jo Ferguson.

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10. Spring Courses from BCT

We have a number of courses scheduled for the spring, including:

  • 16 March – Wildlife Acoustics Kaleidoscope Pro – Ely Cathedral "Fantastic introduction to Kaleidoscope Pro. The course is run at a great pace and Paul makes it both a useful and enjoyable training event." Course Participant, 2017 
  • 03 May – Using Bat Detectors – Juniper Hall, Surrey. The course will cover the different types of detector systems (heterodyne, frequency division, time expansion and full spectrum), the range of detectors available from the different manufacturers, choosing the most appropriate detector for your surveys and how to make recordings. It will also discuss the options available for later software analysis. Finally it will look at record keeping and how to add value to field data through the use of GPS information and Google Earth. There is an optional evening bat walk, weather permitting.
  • 04 May – Bat Ecology and Conservation – Juniper Hall, Surrey. A comprehensive foundation to bat biology, ecology and conservation. You will learn about the different UK species, range and distribution, bat conservation and threats, bat taxonomy, physiological adaptations, life histories, foraging ecology, life cycle, roosting requirements and bat identification. We are also hoping to run this course in the North of England this year, contact Naomi Webster to register your interest.
  • 29-30 May – Surveying for Bats – Nettlecombe Court, Somerset. This course will give you the knowledge and skills to plan professional bat surveys, as well as learning practical survey skills and field sign identification.

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11. Bat Research Papers & Reports

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 (the acoustic mirrors paper below is such a case). For more information about how to access journal papers see the BCT website.

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12. 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.

BCT Events

  • 24 February 2018 – National Bat Care Conference. Bookings now open! See the event web page for more information or to book your place. This event is being organised jointly with Maggie Brown of the West Yorkshire Bat Hospital & Bat Care News, and BCT.
  • 17 March 2018 – East of England Bat Conference, Ely College. **SAVE THE DATE** More details of this event are to follow but if you have any suggestions for content for the day please email Lisa Worledge, BCT’s Head of Conservation Services
  • 14 April 2018 – Wales Bat Workers Day, MRC Llandrindod Wells. **SAVE THE DATE** More details of this event are to follow (and bookings will open on 14th February) but if you have any suggestions for the day’s programme please email Steve Lucas.
  • 21 April 2018 – Midlands Bat Conference, University of Leicester. **SAVE THE DATE** More details of this event are to follow but if you have any suggestions for content for the day please email Lisa Worledge (details as above).
  • 07-09 September – National Bat Conference, University of Nottingham. **SAVE THE DATE** More details of this event are to follow. Call for abstracts is now open, see the event web page.

Other Events

  • 09-18 March 2018 – British Science Week. Find out more on the British Science Week website
  • 28 March – 4th British Bats Research Symposium (BritBats), University of Bristol. Please see the event website  for more information or check out the Facebook page.
  • 20-22 April 2018 – Mammal Society’s 64th Spring Conference & AGM, Exeter University. For more information or to book a place see the Mammal Society website
  • 26-27 April 2018 – Social Calls of Bats Conference, DoubleTree, Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh. Bookings now open, visit the bookings website.
  • 27 April – Mammal Society’s annual Student Conference, University of Worcester. For more information or to book tickets see the website.

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