Issue 12: May 2008
The Bat e-Bulletin is a Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) initiative aimed at providing a regular and up-to-date source of information on a wide range of bat-related topics.
We currently aim to have a little something for everyone: research, mitigation, bat group news, bat care, rabies, wind farms, licensing, training, biodiversity information and links to other sites. However, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions on future articles, and most importantly, contributions!
What are bats doing in May?
Female bats are beginning to form maternity colonies and are looking for suitable nursery sites, such as buildings, trees or bat boxes. Male bats of most species will roost on their own or in smaller groups.
In this issue:
* BCT new website!
* 7th Daubenton’s bat has tested positive for rabies
* Natural England Bats and Churches Guidelines
* Paper in press: Cave selection and use by swarming bat species
* Bats on Coronation Street
* Nature by Night: a guide to observation and identification
* 2008 National Conference
* Help raise funds for bats
* Join now! Free book for bat e-bulletin subscribers
* VACANCY: Part-time Investigations Officer
* Dates for your diary
BCT new website!
Our website has been completely redesigned and revamped, with the aim of making all our bat information easy to find, more appealing to read, and more accessible to a wider range of people.
We have added new content and more features, including a Membership log-in function which allows members to view and update their details, and access some documents that are for members only.
www.bats.org.uk. We plan to continue developing and enhancing the site, and welcome your feedback.
7th Daubenton’s bat has tested positive for rabies
On 7th May 2008 a Daubenton's bat in the South East of England tested positive for the presence of European Bat Lyssavirus type-2 (EBLV2), a strain of rabies occasionally found in bats.
The bat was submitted to the Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA) after the May Bank Holiday, after carers became concerned about its behaviour. The bat had been in care in SE England since August 2007, and as we understand, good practice guidelines were followed at all times. For more information, please go to:
Natural England Bats and Churches Guidelines
Natural England has produced a leaflet to help those looking after church buildings to understand their legal obligations towards bats. The leaflet is targeted at architects, surveyors, local authority conservation officers, ecologists and Natural England and English Heritage staff and volunteers. It is available to download for free from:
Paper in press: Cave selection and use by swarming bat species
A paper, which is soon to be published in Biological Conservation, shows that the national importance of caves used by swarming bats has been overlooked.
Glover and Altringham (in press) surveyed the UK’s largest karst landscape, the Yorkshire Dales, by monitoring autumn swarming (mating) activity at 53 caves. They found that bat populations and catchment sizes were large and that, despite the proximity of other suitable caves, bats showed high fidelity to single sites. For the full abstract, please go to http://www.science-direct.com/science
Nature by Night: a guide to observation and identification
For all those with a broad interst in night-time beasties, thought you might be intersted in this new observation guide, which was published last month.
This little paperback book is split into two sections: a general introduction into surveying at night, followed by species identification (including all manner of night time plants, insects, herps, birds and mammals). It has to be said that we didn’t entirely agree with some of the comments about bats! But it’s broad spectrum, illustrated with beatiful little water colours, makes it a lovely little book for all geenral enthusiasts out there.
Bats on Coronation Street
As some of you may be aware, Coronation Street (ITV1) ran a storyline about bats on a building site.
BCT was consulted by the researchers on general information about bats, their protection and some of the processes involved in licensing, as was Natural England. However, unfortunately we were not able to influence the storyline or how it panned out, and it seems the builder got away with destroying the roost.
However, we believe that, overall, the storyline showed bats in a positive light and that if the builder was portrayed in a negative way. Furthermore, calls to BCT's Bat Helpline indicate the Coronation Street plot may already have saved some real-life roosts, as people who were previously unaware bats are protected have now become informed.
BCT Conference 2008
A quick reminder to all that this year’s National Conference will be held at the University of Reading from 12th to 14th September. For those that haven’t yet booked, but are still intending to, we hope to have the online booking facility up and running within the next couple weeks. (Keep an eye on our website www.bats.org.uk). The booking form is also available to download now from http://www.bats.org.uk/news_events/2008Conference.asp
Help raise funds for bats
The summer bat season is almost upon us with hundreds of bat walks, talks and events being planned at venues across the country. BCT has donation tins, information leaflets and exclusive bat pin badges available for use at these events to help raise money for the UK’s bats. If you’re organising such an event or planning on attending one and wish to help fundraise for bats, please contact Steve Lonergan (firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition, if you know of a fantastic venue or site near you that could go batty for bats this summer, then please let Steve know too!
Join Now! Free book for Bat e-bulletin subscribers
BCT is running a special membership promotion for Bat e-Bulletin subscribers this month, so if you're not already a member you can sign up today and receive a FREE ‘Bats’ book.
As a BCT member you also will receive a range of benefits – find out more details and to sign up today!
Your support will make a big different to what we are able to achieve.
NB: Enter the promotion code 'EB' to claim your free book. Offer ends 15th June 2008
VACANCY: Part-time Investigations Officer
This is a part-time position (2 days a week) involving work with the police and prosecuting authorities, bat workers and the statutory nature conservation organisations, to reduce the level of bat related crime in the UK. The job description and application form can be downloaded from our website:
Salary: £18,000 - £21,000 pro rata depending on experience
Deadline: 5th June 2008
Dates for the diary:
Wales Bat Conference 20th-22nd June 2008
European Bat weekend 29th-31st August 2008
BCT National Conference 12th-14th September 2008
Bat Group Forum 12th September 2008
Scottish Bat Conference 8th November 2008
Provisional 2009 dates:
Bat Group Forum 21st February 2009, 16th May 2009
Bat e-Bulletin is compiled by Laura Dunne at the Bat Conservation Trust.
Bat Conservation Trust, 15 Cloisters House, 8 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4BG Bat Helpline: 0845 1300 228 (local rate)
The next issue of Bat e-Bulletin will be circulated in mid July 2008. Any contributions, comments and feedback should be sent to BCT by 4th July.