Legacy project - Bats

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

Monitoring bats in and around Chichester using an automatic recording station

Update September 2018

The bat recording project has now been running since April and has achieved amazing results. 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.
So far, the bat detector has been 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 129 nights collecting over 66 thousand bat records involving at least 12 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.
Both Common and Soprano Pipistrelles have been recorded at all the gardens, some in very large numbers which were probably close to a roost. Of the other bat species:
 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%.
 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.

We plan to continue to record until the end of October when bats will start hibernation. So if you would like to host the detector get in touch with project co-ordinators, Linda and Ken Smith, email kenandlindasmith@gmail.com or 01243786079 or see their bat project webpage at

Project co-ordinators - Ken and Linda Smith

Chichester, West Sussex

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