22nd October 2012

Five of the 11 bat species monitored by the National Bat Monitoring Programme showed a statistically significant increase in at least one survey in 2011, while all other species monitored appear to at least be stable. The State of the UK's Bats, published today by the Bat Conservation Trust summarises the results of the National Bat Monitoring Programme up to the end of 2011.

Dr Kate Barlow, NBMP Head of Monitoring, explains "We are again seeing a relatively positive picture for bat populations from our monitoring work. But we must remember to look at these results in context: much greater and sustained increases are needed before we can start to be confident that bats are recovering from the huge losses that occurred last century."

In addition to population trends, the sixth edition of The State of the UK's Bats highlights the crucial role that volunteers play. Running since 1997 the National Bat Monitoring Programme works with 2000 volunteers to monitor 11 of the UK's 18 bat species. The NBMP is the UK's longest-running, purpose-built, multi-species monitoring programme for mammals and its success is due in large part to the commitment and hard work of our many volunteers across the UK.

NBMP volunteers also assist with specialist surveys. For example 10 bat groups took part in our Bechstein's Bat Survey, a four-year distribution mapping project for this rare woodland bat species that ran from 2007 and 2011, and added records for this species at 37 new sites.

Following feedback from NBMP volunteers in 2011 BCT are working to improve the training and support we provide to our volunteers. Overall, volunteers reported feeling very positive about their involvement in the National Bat Monitoring Programme.

See our results and reports in full