EUROBATS - recent biodiversity indicator work

BCT has led recent projects on the development of biodiversity indicators using NBMP data and is a member of the EUROBATS Intersessional Working Group on Bats as Indicators. Examples of recent indicator work include:

BICCO-NET: the biodiversity impacts of climate change observation network

BCT contributed to the BICCO-Net project through its provision of access to various NBMP datasets, such as the Field Survey, which covers noctule, serotine and pipistrelle bats and the Waterway Survey which covers Daubenton's bats.

BICCO-NET aimed to develop a process for collating, analysing and providing rapid web-based feedback of evidence of climate. Key monitoring data sets, covering a range of terrestrial and coastal taxa and habitats were combined and a combination of statistical analysis and qualitative assessment was used to identify species, communities and habitats that are most likely to be impacted by climate change in the UK. The main report and a summary for policy makers can be downloaded from the Defra website.

The second pahse of the BICCO-Net project is currently underway. It involves further analysis of the impacts of recent changes in weather patterns on species populations including bats, using NBMP datasets. It will also investigate likely future responses of species to further predicted changes in climate. Output from BICCO-Net will have a significant influence on climate change adaptation policy and future strategies for monitoring climate change impacts.

Indicators of sustainable change in Eastern Europe

BCT works in partnership with The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) on this Darwin project delivered in Romania and Bulgaria. Teams of NBMP volunteers have been trained to conduct roadside surveys to record bat distribution and abundance on long-distance transects. The Indicator Bats Program - iBats is a partnership between ZSL and BCT, working in partnership with a number of national NGOs. Together we run a number of national and international bat biodiversity monitoring projects to track changes in global biodiversity.

Bats as indicators of environmental quality

In 2003, BCT developed models for predicting the occurance of Daubenton's bat using environmental data from the Environment Agency River Habitat Survey (RHS). In 2008 this work was revisited and sites in the NBMP Daubenton’s Bat Waterway Survey were matched to RHS monitoring data to understand links to environmental variables. The model was recently updated incorporating newly available RHS variables. A paper outlining the development and testing of the model was published in 2009 in Aquatic Conservation.