Argus Ecology

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Bat risk assessments / bat surveys

January 18, 2019

Activity survey season starts May - risk assessments can be carried out now

The main bat survey season doesn't start until April/ May at the earliest for activity surveys, which we typically undertake to inform developments where there are changes to the landscape which may affect foraging or commuting bats, or where a wind energy development is planned.  Activity surveys involve either monthly, or seasonal visits from April to September or October.

Emergence surveys start at the beginning of May, mostly finishing by the end of August - there is a very limited season to identify maternity roosts and other places used by bats for shelter.

In the winter period we carry out risk assessments of properties and trees.  These can help to discount the need for further surveys of low-risk structures - but in other cases we have to recommend emergence surveys in the appropriate season.  This is the 'risk' in a 'risk assessment'! 

We have four licensed in-house bat surveyors, equipped with Petterson Elektronic time expansion detectors which record bat calls and reproduce them as sonagrams using specialist BatSound software.   For activity surveys, we also carry out automated monitoring using the Batcorder system - this is a very high quality German system which matches recordings against a database of European bat calls, using software running on a MacBook. We can also use Anabat Express detectors where a larger site is to be surveyed.

If you think you may need a bat survey in 2018, please call Paul or Claire for an informal chat to discuss your needs.

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