Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists: Good Practice Guidelines 4th edition

Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists: Good Practice Guidelines (4th edition) are now available!!

You can order your hard copy of the Bat Survey Guidelines on NHBS here.

These guidelines are the essential reference guide for professional ecologists working on bat surveys. The guidelines have been fully updated with new sections on biosecurity, tree surveys, bat sound analysis auto-identification, data science and more! The guidelines are not a prescription for professional bat work. They do not aim to override professional judgement and cannot be used to replace experience. Deviations from the methods described are acceptable providing the ecological rationale is clear and the ecologist is suitably qualified and experienced. It will be necessary to support such decisions with evidence, particularly if they may lead to legal challenge.

BCT has made the full document available to download as a non-printable PDF by clicking here (last updated 27th March 2024 with some minor amendments to the printed version). We have also produced a Q & A document.

Please note that the security techniques used in this document are only compatible with recent versions of Adobe Reader. This document may not be readable in many non-Adobe PDF readers and in-browser viewers. We suggest you use Adobe Reader DC on PCs or the most recent version available on other platforms. Please only contact us if you have further problems when using these versions of Adobe Reader.

The production and printing of the publication has been supported by our GOLD sponsor Wildlife Acoustics and our SILVER sponsors ASW Ecology, BatAbility, Ecus, I & G Ecological Consulting, O'Donnell Environmental and Titley Scientific.

If you are a BCT member you get a 20% discount code which you can redeem at the NHBS website. Your discount code is available in your members area here.

4th edition Bat Surveying Guidelines - Exploring the changes Webinar

BCT has created an e-learning resource exploring the changes in the new edition of the Bat Survey Guidelines, delivered by our Head of Biodiversity and editor of the Guidelines Jan Collins.

This is a CPD webinar and it costs £15 per person.

Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists: Good Practice Guidelines 4th edition

Bat Surveys with Night Vision Aids Consultation

Following the publication of Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists Good Practice Guidelines 4th edition in September 2023, BCT are setting up a working group to further develop guidelines for bat surveys with night vision aids, including thermal imaging and infrared cameras.

We recently collected information from practitioners on their current practices and desires/expectations from new guidelines on this topic through a public consultation. This closed on 31st October 2023. We will use the results of this consultation to inform the production of guidance.

The exact balance between judgement, guidance and evidence will vary. We carried out some work on our Professional Training Standards as part of a partnership project with CIEEM and Natural England on Earned Recognition for licensing. From that we have published an interim 2nd edition of our Professional Training Standards. These outline in more depth the level of knowledge and skills required for different tasks.

What if I have questions about the guidelines?

In addition to us not having the resources, it is not in BCT’s remit to give advice on how to interpret the guidance, as this should be for the ecologists own professional judgement. However feedback on the guideline’s usability can be made to Jan Colllins:

Next: Bat Survey Guidelines discount code for BCT members