Legacy project - Bats

Acknowledgement and thanks to Nik Knight for the banner photograph of roosting long-eared bats

2018 Season

The project to record bats flying at night in the Chichester area has been very successful so far and will continue in 2019.
The automatic detector has a microphone sensitive to the range of frequencies of calls made by bats when flying and feeding. The recorder is active all night, every time it is triggered by a bat call it records for 5 seconds. All recordings are stored on a little memory card and we have some clever software to analyse the data and match the calls with the different species of bats. Because the detector is vigilant all night, it gives much more comprehensive results than a hand-held device.
From April to October 2018, the bat detector was placed in 51 different locations in Chichester and the surrounding area (within an approximate eight-mile radius of the city) mostly in ChiNats members’ gardens from Nutbourne to Chilgrove to Slindon to Selsea. It has successfully recorded for a total of 160 nights collecting over 75,000 bat records involving at least 10 different bat species. Records of the less common species will need to be reviewed by a bat expert, but we are confident that bats are found everywhere.
The provisional results so far
Both Common and Soprano Pipistrelles have been recorded at all the gardens, some in very large numbers which were probably close to a roost
·         Brown Long-eared, Serotine, Natterer’s and Noctule were detected in over 70% of gardens.
·         Daubenton’s bats, which prefer to feed over water were found at 66% of locations and
·         Nathusius’ Pipistrelles, which migrate here from southern Europe at 55% of locations.
·         Barbastelles, which are thought to be scarce and wander widely at night, were recorded in 43% of gardens, but in very low numbers
·         Leisler’s bat and the other Myotis species, Whiskered and Brandt’s, were recorded in a few places with prime habitats.

2019 Season

For 2019, Ken and Linda Smith have agreed to continue to co-ordinate the arrangements for deploying the detector and downloading and analysing the results of each recording session. Bats are hibernating at present and will become active again when the weather warms in April. As well as giving all members the chance to record bats in their own gardens, we want to try to fill some of the gaps in coverage, particularly to the north of the city.

Project co-ordinators - Ken and Linda Smith

Bat map 2018

Chichester, West Sussex

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