1st April 2021
Every year, BCT’s National Bat Helpline receives over 5,000 calls from members of the public who have found grounded or injured bats. Staff and volunteers talk callers through safely containing the bat, and, when possible, refer them on to one of over 200 amazing independent volunteers around the country who look after bats until they’re fit to be released. (These volunteers make up the UK Bat Care Network; click HERE for more information on the Network and how to get involved.)
In 2019, the Helpline began sending a survey to all bat finders who contacted the Helpline and gave us permission to follow up. By the end of 2020, the survey had received 386 responses covering the period from October 2018 to December 2020. The results show that bat rescue makes a big difference not just to bats, but to people!
Bat finders were very excited and positive about their rescue (often describing the experience as a “privilege”) and were more likely to take part in bat-related activities afterward. This was the case even if the bat sadly died (around 19% of reported cases).
You can see an overview of the results in the video below, or download a more detailed PDF summary HERE.
BCT’s UK Bat Care Network Co-Ordinator, Laura Brown, presented results from the survey at the 6th International Berlin Bat Meeting in March 2021. It turned out to be one of several presentations reinforcing a common theme: that encountering a bat up close increases people’s positive feelings and interest.
Unfortunately, BCT’s bat care work has no secured source of funding and depends on donations from the public. If you’d like to help us keep helping grounded bats and the people who find them, please do make a donation. Anything you can spare will be gratefully received and will help people and save bats.