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Bailiwick Bat Survey returns for final year

Volunteers are being urged to book out detectors to take part in the last year of bat monitoring in the Bailiwick.

Over the last three years, volunteers have helped record data on the status, distribution and timing of movements of bats across Guernsey, Herm, Alderney and Sark.

Bats are considered an indicator species, so this data will help scientists understand the wider health of our environment.

In that time, the project has helped confirm two new bat species in Alderney and the discovery of the Leisler’s bat in Sark for the first time.The survey, covering all the islands, divides the islands up into 500x500m survey squares.

Volunteers have also captured the ultrasonic calls from bush crickets, small terrestrial mammals and moths.

Anyone interested can sign up to monitor one, or more, of 48 grid squares across the islands.

They need to survey the area for four days from April to mid-July, and again from mid-July to October.

The recordings are then passed onto the British Trust for Ornithology for analysis.

Matt Lewis, an Ecologist for the Alderney Wildlife Trust, says the project's success depends on volunteer participation.

“In the last year alone, resident citizen scientists collected almost 50 thousand identifiable recordings, including the only recordings of Soprano Pipistrelle in the Bailiwick.

This data is key to better understanding our bats, and anyone can help to collect it.”

This initiative has been commissioned by Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services as part of the implementation of the Strategy for Nature. 

Anyone interested in volunteering can find out more at www.bats.org.gg

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