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Bat Group Bulletin No. 151

Bat Group Bulletin No. 151: 15 December 2017

  1. The 25 Genomes Project Voting Results
  2. Consultation on Earned Recognition (England)
  3. Wildlife Licence Charges Consultation (England)
  4. Jersey Bat Group Notebooks
  5. Case Studies of Bats in Culverts
  6. Social Calls of Bats Conference 2018
  7. National Bat Conference Call for Abstracts
  8. BritBats IV 2018
  9. Local Plan Symposium Call for Abstracts
  10. Bat Crime Conviction in Dorset
  11. Bat Research Papers & Reports
  12. Key Dates for Your Diary

1. The 25 Genomes Project Voting Results

Thank you to everyone who voted in the 25 Genomes Project being run by the Sanger Institute to sequence the genomes of 25 native species. Sadly neither of the two bats that were put forward to the public vote got through (the Dangerous Zone was won by the Asian Hornet and the Floundering Zone by the Eurasian Otter) but the common pipistrelle was chosen by the Sanger Institute independently of the public vote. See more on the 25 Genomes Project website

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2. Consultation on Earned Recognition (England)

Natural England, in partnership with BCT and the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (also involving the Association of Local Government Ecologists) are scoping out a new project on Earned Recognition for professional ecologists who work with bats, for which they are carrying out an early consultation. More information and a link to the consultation can be found online. The closing date for responses is 31st December. If you are a professional ecologist please take the opportunity to offer your opinion; it is greatly valued!

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3. Wildlife Licence Charges Consultation (England)

Natural England have been reviewing the way they fund and deliver their licensing service. As a result of this, they are putting forward a proposal to introduce charges for certain areas of licensing work. They are now consulting on this proposal. Details of the proposed charges and exemptions are provided in the consultation document, which includes a detailed breakdown for each individual licence type. The Natural England proposals can be viewed and comments made online.

The consultation is now open and will close on 5th February 2018.

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4. Jersey Bat Group Notebooks

Still looking for a Christmas present for that batty someone in your life? How about an A5 notebook with a lovely brown long-eared bat on the cover? Priced at £4.50, and £5.96 to include postage to the UK. Please contact Robert Hurley at the Jersey Bat Group  or see the Jersey Bat Group website. All proceeds support the work of the Group.

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5. Case Studies of Bats in Culverts

Thank you to all those who responded to our call out for case studies of bats in culverts in the last edition of the Bat Group Bulletin – we will be in touch shortly. This was the original call out for those who may still like to respond:

The Environment Agency are looking to produce some internal guidance on bats and culverts and are looking for examples of bat roosts in culverts to inform this. They would like to know if you are aware of any bat roosts in culverts including the species, numbers, roost type, time of year bats present, height of culvert, length of culvert, construction materials and frequency of flooding/hydrological regime. They are also keen to know the key factors you use to assess the suitability of culverts for bats and what type of surveys and survey effort you have employed to establish presence or absence. If you have any information that you are willing to share please email Jan Collins, Head of Biodiversity at BCT.

Following the call out we have been in discussion with academic contacts about the possibility of a research project on bats and culverts. If we can collect enough data then this may be possible so please do respond if you have case studies. For this to go ahead we would also need cases where culverts have been surveyed but bats have been found to be absent. The information described above would still be required except, of course, the bits about the bats!

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6. Social Calls of Bats Conference 2018

The second Social Calls of Bats Conference is taking place on 26th to 27th April 2018 in Edinburgh. The event is being organised by Neil Middleton of BatAbility along with the other authors of the Social Calls of the Bats of Britain & Ireland. Booking is now open, so for further information, or to book your place, please see the event flyer or visit the bookings website.

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7. National Bat Conference Call for Abstracts

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 would like to invite the submission of abstracts. More details can be found on the BCT website but note the deadline is 30th January 2018 for abstract submission.

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8. BritBats IV 2018

The 4th British Bats Research Symposium (BritBats) will take place at the University of Bristol on Wednesday 28th March 2018. BritBats brings together bat researchers from around the UK to talk about their work both here and abroad. It is specifically aimed at postgraduate students (Masters and PhD) to give them an opportunity to present their work and network in a friendly atmosphere.

More details will be available early next year with registration details and abstract submission information. In the meantime you can already follow the event on Twitter (@BritBats2018) and join the Facebook group (BritBats 2018).

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9. Local Plan Symposium Call for Abstracts

BCT is planning an event in 2018 in London (venue TBC) aiming to share knowledge and best practice regarding strategic, landscape-scale planning for biodiversity (not just bats!). It is now widely recognised that we need to act at a landscape-scale to create ecological networks and fulfil the Lawton vision of more, bigger, better and joined sites for nature conservation. In particular, we would like to attract presentations on strategic initiatives that have been fully integrated into development control or Local Plans. We would also welcome presentations delivering perspectives from different industries.

If you would like to contribute please submit a 250 word abstract (with a title) in Word or PDF format, including your name and your primary affiliation, by email to Jan Collins, Head of Biodiversity, BCT by 26th January 2018.

It was our original intention to run this event in March/April 2018 but we are aware of a number of other bat/biodiversity events around this time (several of which are referred to in this Bulletin!). We would therefore like to hear your opinion on the relative pros/cons of running this event in May/June or October/November. Please email Jan with your views.

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10. Bat Crime Conviction in Dorset

Last week a court found a developer guilty of destroying two bat roosts. He was fined £800 on each charge and ordered to pay £600 costs and £120 victim surcharge. More details are available on the BCT website.

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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. **SAVE THE DATE** More details of this event are to follow but it is being organised jointly with Maggie Brown of the West Yorkshire Bat Hospital & Bat Care News, and BCT. If you have any suggestions for the day’s programme please email Maggie. 
  • 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 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 2018 – National Bat Conference, University of Nottingham. **SAVE THE DATE** More details of this event are to follow.

Other Events

  • 09-18 March 2018 – British Science Week. Find out more on the British Science Week website
  • 28 March 2018 – 4th British Bats Research Symposium (BritBats), University of Bristol. **SAVE THE DATE** More details of this event are to follow in the New Year.
  • 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. See attached or visit the bookings website.

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