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Bat Group Bulletin No. 144

Bat Group Bulletin No. 144: 15th June 2017 

  1. BCT Scottish Bat Officer Vacancy
  2. Mitigation Case Studies Thank You & Reminder
  3. Wales Bat Conference – Bookings Closing Soon!
  4. Latest National Bat Monitoring Programme Annual Report Published
  5. Poor Fine for Conviction for Bat Crime at Leamington Spa Magistrates Court
  6. Kate Barlow Award Winner 2017
  7. Nominations for Partner Bat Group Nominated Trustees
  8. Northern Bats Publication
  9. Gardeners World Live – Volunteers Needed!
  10. Bat Worker Forum 2017
  11. Pete Guest Award 2017
  12. Challenge to Environmental Justice Rules in High Court
  13. Swarming Conference Update
  14. Key Dates for Your Diary

1. BCT Scottish Bat Officer Vacancy

We are very sad to be saying goodbye to Anne Youngman, who is leaving BCT after 14 years with us as our Scottish Bat Officer. Anne has been a truly marvellous advocate for bats and bat conservation and will be really missed by everyone at BCT, Scottish Bat Groups and all the other organisations that she has worked with. Anne is taking early retirement and we wish her all the very best for the future.

With Anne’s retirement we are now recruiting for a new Scottish Bat Officer. Full details about the role and the application process (including deadlines for applications, interview date and location) can be found on the BCT website.

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2. Mitigation Case Studies Thank You & Reminder

Once again a big thank you to everyone who has submitted mitigation case studies so far. Andrew Ross (BCT’s Bat Mitigation Project Officer) and Kelly Rossier (BCT’s Bat Mitigation Field Assistant) are busy preparing for the first set of site visits and surveys.

However, we still need more mitigation case studies please! The details of the criteria and the questionnaire can be found online (case studies can also easily be shared by uploading reports).

This is an opportunity for free monitoring with no strings attached and it will be reported on anonymously. Participation is key to the success of this project, which is an important part of the future of bat conservation! Finding enough mitigation cases and getting access to sites are our biggest challenges and we’d appreciate any help you can give us. If you have any questions about this project please email BCT’s Mitigation Project Team.

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3. Wales Bat Conference – Bookings Closing Soon!

Bookings close on Friday 26th May  for the 2017 Wales Bat Conference which takes place in Swansea on 3rd & 4th June with the Annual Bat Workers Forum on Friday 2nd June (see below). The programme includes talks on mitigation, horseshoe bats, monitoring, as well demonstrations of some new equipment from Wildlife Acoustics and Titley Scientific. The weekend will include fieldwork on the Saturday evening. To book your place or find out more information the Wales Bat Conference web page.

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4. Latest National Bat Monitoring Programme Annual Report Published

The latest National Bat Monitoring Programme Annual report has now been published and the full report is available on the BCT website. At present sufficient data are collected by the NBMP to produce population trends for 11 of Great Britain's 17 resident (and breeding) bat species. Of these species, all are considered to have been stable or to have increased since the baseline year of monitoring (1999 for most species). However these findings should be treated with caution for several species and more details are included within the summary of findings, which can be found online as well as detailed in the full report.

While data from the NBMP indicates that populations of the bat species we monitor are stable or recovering, it should be remembered that these trends reflect relatively recent changes in bat populations (since 1999 for most species). It is generally considered that prior to this there were significant historical declines in bat populations dating back to at least the start of the 20th century. This suggests that current legislation and conservation action to protect and conserve bats is being successful, and it is vitally important that this continues.

In total 6,330 sites have been surveyed as part of the NBMP since its inception in 1996. In 2016 1,984 sites were surveyed by 960 volunteers. We are incredibly grateful to all of our NBMP volunteers, who contribute approximately 17,700 hours of their time annually, representing an in-kind contribution to the NBMP of £264,760! This citizen science programme would not be possible without you. Thank you.

We will be having a Special Edition of the Bat Group Bulletin all about the NBMP in the coming weeks so do keep an eye out for that!

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5. Convictions for Bat Crime at Leamington Spa Magistrates Court

On Tuesday 11th April 2017 Magistrates sitting at Leamington Spa Magistrates Court heard a case relating to the destruction of a bat roost. Paltry fines were awarded against the defendants and in BCT’s opinion a great disservice was done to bat conservation and the wider fight against wildlife crime. You can read more details of the case on the BCT news page.

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6. Kate Barlow Award Winner 2017

The Kate Barlow Award was established in memory of the late Dr Kate Barlow, former Head of Monitoring at BCT and in honour of her contribution to bat conservation. The award encourages postgraduate students to conduct substantive bat research projects by providing them with financial support. It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce that the very first winner of the Kate Barlow Award is Kristen Lear (PhD candidate at the University of Georgia). Her research project focuses on conserving the endangered Mexican long-nosed bat. You can read more about Kristen and her research on the BCT website.

The Kate Barlow Award has been funded for five years by an initial donation by Kate’s parents, Chris and Sue Barlow. Many of Kate’s friends have been fundraising to help the award run for longer. Steve Parker (of South Lancashire Bat Group and a BCT Trustee) has made a fantastic contribution to that effort by completing the London Marathon last month and securing donations (with Gift Aid) of over £8,000! Thank you so much Steve and all of the donors! (It isn’t too late to donate to Steve’s fundraising efforts, you can do so online until 23rd May.)

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7. Nominations for Partner Bat Group Nominated Trustees

An email was sent directly to all Partner Bat Groups last month from the two current BCT Partner Bat Group Nominated Trustees (Steve Parker and Bob Cornes) seeking nominations for a new Partner Bat Group Nominated Trustee. This email is attached as a PDF. The closing date for nominations is Friday 10th June. The nomination must come from a Partner Bat Group and include a statement from the person being nominated outlining their interests and suitability to serve as a Trustee (see details in the attached PDF). Nominations should be emailed to the Trustees and this is also the email address to send any questions to.

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8. Northern Bats

Northern Bats is an on-line journal for publishing the results of bat work in the north of England. Volume 2 has just been published and is available now as a free pdf download from the Northern Bats website.

The Northern Bats editorial team (Tina Wiffen and Ian Bond) are now looking for articles for the third edition and they 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.

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9. Gardeners World Live – Volunteers Needed

Once again BCT is having a stand at the BBC’s Gardeners World Live. Taking place from 15th - 18th June 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham, this is a great opportunity to win over gardeners to the wonderful world of bats and gardening for wildlife. People attend from all around the UK and we’d love to have some extra help on the stand! You can find out more on the BCT website. If you think you’d be interested in volunteering please contact Andreia Correia da Costa by email or call 020 7820 7181. (Thank you to the people who have already volunteered and of course all of the individuals and organisations who are helping us with plants and other features for the stand).

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10. Bat Worker Forum 2017

As you have hopefully seen from the email we circulated to Bat Groups last week (and last month’s Bat Group Bulletin) the Bat Workers Forum this year will be taking place on Friday 2nd June at the Wales Conference, University of Swansea. Further details about the Forum, including the minutes from 2016 and the terms of reference for the meeting are on the BCT website.

For anyone booking to attend the Wales Bat Conference you can reserve your place at the Forum as part of your booking. However, you don’t have to be attending the conference to come along to the Forum, so if you would like to come attend and aren’t booking for the conference please let me know (either email Lisa Worledge or call 020 7820 7176). Advanced booking is preferred so that we can send out documentation in advance (week commencing 29th May) and to ensure we have enough teas and coffees for everyone. Also, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is an issue, question or comment that you would like raised during the Forum (even if you can’t make the meeting) or if you have any questions about the event. Please let me have any agenda items by 9 am on Tuesday 30th May.

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11. Pete Guest Award 2017

The Pete Guest Award is presented annually to individuals who have made an outstanding practical contribution to bat conservation. The award is presented in memory of Pete Guest, who was an inspirational figure in bat conservation for more than 20 years. We announced, via an email to Bat Groups last week, that nominations are now being taken for the award in 2017. Full details of how to nominate someone and the previous winners are on the BCT website.

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12. Challenge to Environmental Justice Rules in the High Court

Three environmental charities (Friends of the Earth, RSPB and ClientEarth) are to challenge the government in High Court over a change to the rules on environmental justice. More details can be found on the Civil Society website.

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13. Swarming Conference Update

The final details for workshops at the first UK Swarming Conference are being put in place and then bookings will open! This event is being organised by Steve Roe of Derbyshire Bat Group, Anita Glover of the Vincent Wildlife Trust and Naomi Webster at BCT. The conference will take place over the weekend of 1st to 3rd September at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire. The weekend will include practical field work on the Saturday night. If you would like to be notified when bookings open please email Naomi Webster.

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14. 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

  • 02 June – Annual Bat Workers Forum.  Please see above and the BCT Bat Workers Forum web page for more details.
  • 02-04 June – Wales Bat Conference. Bookings close next week! For more information about this event and details of how to book see the Wales Bat Conference web page.
  • 01-03 September – Swarming Conference **SAVE THE DATE** Please email Naomi Webster to be notified when more information about this event is available and when bookings open.
  • 18 November – Scottish Bat Conference **SAVE THE DATE**

Other Events

  • 29 June-01 July – 2nd International Symposium on Infectious Diseases of Bats, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. For more information see the event web page.
  • 01-05 August  – 14th European Bat Research Symposium, Donostia, Spain. For more details please see the event website.
  • 26-27 August – International Bat Night. For more information see the BCT website (please do share details of your events to mark this annual celebration of bats!)
  • 16-17 November – NBN Conference 2017, National Museum Cardiff. See the NBN website for more information.

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