27th July 2016
Tree roosts confirmed in Jersey, and first Daubenton's bat caught!
After a week long course in association with the Bat Conservation and Research Unit (BatCRU), the Jersey Bat Group are delighted to announce that the first tree roost sites in Jersey have now been located.
Whereas it was always likely that bats in Jersey were using tree roosts like they do elsewhere, none had previously been observed in Jersey. During the course, bats were caught under licence by trained professionals using harp traps, lures and mist nets. Two female bats, one brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus caught at Greve de Lecq and one Natterer's bat Myotis nattereri caught at St Catherine's woods were fitted with radio tags by Daniel Whitby, a licenced professional ecologist and founder of BatCRU.
Course participants, comprising of Bat Group members and professional ecologists from both Jersey and the UK, were then able to use radio tracking equipment to locate the tree roosts. Bats were also filmed emerging from the tree roosts soon after sunset by using infra-red camera equipment, this enabled a count of the numbers of bats within each maternity roost to occur.
Dr Amy Hall, Chair of the Jersey Bat Group said 'this is a very important discovery which will likely lead to a change in woodland management and arboricultural practices in order to protect tree-roosting bats'.
During the week a male Daubenton's bat Myotis daubentonii was caught at Val de la Mare. Whereas this species is fairly common in the UK this is the first time it has been caught in Jersey. This adds a second new species to the Jersey list this year following the discovery of the Alcathoe's bat Myotis alcathoe in St Catherine's woods in May.
The male Daubenton's bat. (c) Amy Hall.
Annika Binet, a research ecologist from Annyctalus Ecology who helped arrange the week long course said "this has been a fantastic week for bat conservation in Jersey, with the help of BatCRU and the course participants we have been able to confirm some of our suspicions relating to the use of trees and breeding status of two bat species along with the presence of another species in the island"
The Jersey Bat Group would like to thank BatCRU and the course participants for their assistance with the Woodland bat project, and also The National Trust for Jersey, Jersey Water, The States of Jersey and private landowners for allowing trapping to occur on their land.
Bat Conservation and Research Unit. Lead by some of the UK's most experienced bat workers, BatCRU was founded to improve the conservation status of bats in the UK through research, education, and habitat improvement.
Working alongside organisations such as Natural England and the Bat Conservation Trust, BatCRU will feed research into working practice guidelines in order to ensure industry knowledge is maintained to a high standard.
Jersey Bat Group
The Jersey Bat Group registered charity, our mission statement is:
To survey and monitor bat populations, roosts, hibernacula and foraging sites in Jersey and provide information and education regarding bats to the Jersey public. Where possible to take steps to help protect local bat populations, in line with recommendations from the Species Action Plan.
Woodland Bat Project
The woodland bat project is envisaged to be a five year project and is currently still in its initial phase. Bat boxes have been installed in five woodlands within Jersey, with these being checked for bat presence by licenced bat workers. Static bat detectors are starting to be deployed within these woodlands to record bat ultrasonic calls in order to try to establish species present via bat-call analysis. Bats are also being directly trapped under licence by trained professionals.