Archive for July, 2012

UES Undergraduate Development Scheme

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

UES have recently taken on Mark Norriss, as part of the UES Undergraduate Development Scheme (UDS). Mark has so far had a chance to get involved with Great crested newt (GCN) surveys using Natural England recommended techniques such as bottle trapping, netting, egg searches and torching.

Mark has also been involved with bat scoping surveys and bat presence / absence surveys of sites in Connoh’s Quay, Knutsford and Frodsham. Species encountered so far include Brown long-eared bats (Plecotus auritus), Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) and Soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus).

Mark has also been using the Batbox Duet bat detector recreationally to record a large maternity roost of over 50 Common pipistrelle bats in his own home in rural Cheshire. The bats will soon be raising their pups and so their numbers will be increasing even more.

Handling bats at Stourhead National Trust Estate

Monday, July 9th, 2012

I recently attended an Advanced bat survey techniques course at Stourhead National Trust Estate hosted by Greena Ecological Consultancy. Stourhead is at the heart of a 1,072-hectare (2,650-acre) estate where chalk downs, ancient woods and farmland are managed for nature conservation.

Stewart, UES Assistant Ecologist, attended the course in 2011 and got the opportunity to handle 11 species of bat, including Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii), Barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus), Greater horseshoe (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) and Lesser horseshoe (Rhinolophus hipposideros).

The course covered advanced bat survey techniques and sound analysis, data analysis and data gathering techniques using remote monitoring devices, such as data loggers, to establish seasonal trends. Over the 5 day course I carried out trapping using mist nets and harp traps, and handled Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), Soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus), Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii), Whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus) and Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus). Lesser horseshoe, Noctule (Nyctalus noctula) and Serotine (Eptesicus serotinus) were also recorded onsite. I also helped to prepare bats for radio tracking and then followed up with radio tracking surveys.

Kathryn, UES Graduate Ecologist