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Sunset/Sunrise Survey 2016

Based on the data received for 2016, at least 119 volunteers took part in 161 Sunrise/Sunset Surveys. Bats were seen on 153 (95%) of these surveys. Even more excitingly, some volunteers actually managed to spot bats leaving or entering their roosts, and six new roosts were found.

The distribution of sites surveyed, bats seen and roosts found is shown below. Note: If no bats were seen it does not necessarily imply that they are absent from the area.

Sunset/Sunrise Survey results 2016

Distribution of Sunset/Sunrise Survey sites 2016


Twelve species or species groups were recorded:

  • Bat (unidentified to species)

  • Brown long-eared bat

  • Common pipistrelle

  • Daubenton's bat

  • Greater horseshoe bat

  • Lesser horseshoe bat

  • Myotis species

  • Natterer's bat

  • Noctule

  • Pipistrelle species

  • Serotine

  • Soprano pipistrelle            

Most bats observed were identified by volunteers to genus or species level (87.8%).

Common pipistrelle was the most frequently observed species, followed by soprano pipistrelle. These are also the two most commonly recorded species in the UK.

Sunset/Sunrise Survey 2016 - species recorded

Bat species observed during the 2016 Sunset/Sunrise Survey


This survey collects information on how the bat species is identified. More than half of the bat species observed (58.3%) were identified using a bat detector. This suggests that, as well as the target audience of complete beginners, a large proportion of the people who take part in the Sunset/Sunrise Survey already have some bat survey experience.

In a third of instances bats were identified visually in flight. This is a less reliable method of species identification.

Sunset-Sunrise Survey 2016 - ID methods

 Methods used to identify bats to species in the 2016 Sunset/Sunrise Survey


The majority of surveys were conducted in urban areas (51.6% of surveys) or farmland (40.5%).   

Sunset-Sunrise Survey 2016 - habitats surveyed

Habitats surveyed by the 2016 Sunset/Sunrise Survey


Return to survey and species index

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