22nd May 2014

Bats across the UK have suffered significant declines in the past, particularly in the second half of the twentieth century. But thanks to our dedicated network of volunteer surveyors who take part in the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP), we can see some promising signs of recovery for some species. The latest results from the programme, which examines population trends in 11 UK bat species across a total of almost 6,000 sites, suggests that all species monitored are showing stable or increasing trends since monitoring began in 1997.

The 2013 Annual Report shows five species continue to show statistically significant increases with the remaining 6 species that are monitored showing stable trends.

Dr Kate Barlow explains: 'The continuing pattern of increasing or stable trends we are seeing from bat monitoring is encouraging and suggests that positive conservation action and legal protection is helping our bat populations. We need to continue this work to ensure that populations continue to increase and to expand our monitoring programme to include other species where we have a much less clear idea of how they are faring.'

The NBMP is a partnership between the Bat Conservation Trust, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, National Resources Wales and Defra. Additional funding is provided by Natural England. At present sufficient data are collected by the programme to produce population trends for 11 of the UK's 17 resident bat species. This year for the first time, separate trends have been included for England and Wales where there is sufficient survey coverage. Read the full report or find species pages summarising the surveys and results for each bat species monitored.

Click here to find out more about the National Bat Monitoring Programme or sign up to take part in our surveys this summer.