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iBats in the UK

iBats UK surveyorsThe iBatsUK project started out in 2005 as The Bats & Roadside Mammals Survey, a partnership project between the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) and the Mammals Trust UK (MTUK).

Now fully integrated into the Indicator Bats Program. (iBats) the survey is carried out by a large number of groups throughout the UK.

The main aims of the project are:

  • to increase the number of records of mammals (primarily bats) along roads;
  • to determine which roadside habitats are important for bats;
  • to provide long-term monitoring at the national and regional level.  

The iBatsUK survey involves volunteers driving up to 40 km of roads per night using ultrasonic time expansion detectors attached to a car window to record bats. A GPS unit allows geo-referencing of all records. Data collected extends and complements existing National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) projects and, in the longer term, will enable statistical monitoring of selected species at the regional level.

In addition, research to identify roadside habitats that are preferred/avoided by mammals will lead to future improvements of roadside habitats that enhance mammal biodiversity. At the end of each season all records obtained on the survey are uploaded to the National Biodiversity Network and are used in the iBats project to assess the impact of global change on biodiversity.


 iBats bat species results

The survey is primarily aimed at bat groups or other groups of volunteers who have access to a time expansion bat detector (Tranquility, Pettersson D240x), a recording device and a GPS.

Monitoring transects are carried out in July and August with the majority of groups taking part surveying two separate routes in July and repeating them in August. However, some groups may wish to improve coverage of their area by carrying out extra surveys within the May to September period.

How to take part

If you or your group would like to take part in the survey, you can:



Bats and Roadside Mammals Survey/iBats UK annual reports

Other iBats reports


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