Bats of North Sea wind farms, new research


This video says about itself:

Male Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Bat singing

12 September 2014

At a large mixed maternity roost of Nathusius’ and Soprano pipistrelles in Northern Ireland, the males are busy trying to attract females with their songs. This boy had the cheek to sit right at the entrance to the roost so all the females had to go past him. He was a pretty loud and frantic singer so he probably got lucky.

You can see him opening his mouth as he makes each noise, but the camera could not pick up the very high-pitched sounds that he made.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

27 February 2015

You would not expect it, but bats also fly above the sea. Researchers have now shown that in the months of September and October they may even be found regularly in offshore wind farms. Probably the bats pass the windmills when they are migrating, but the researchers also conclude that they sometimes fly there from the continent to catch insects. Nathusius’ pipistrelle was most heard around the windmills, but signals were also heard from common noctule bats.

The study took place in two wind farms off the coast of Egmond.

Australian little red megabats, prequel videos


This video from Australia says about itself:

Little Red Megabats (flying foxes) just before the fly out 11/02/2015-p1

11 February 2015

Megabats are very important pollinators and seed disperses of many native plants including Eucalyptus, figs, bush apples (Syzygium spp.), bush plums (Terminalia spp.), paperbarks, guerrillas, and fruits of many palm species. The seeds of some plant species (particularly those with white and green fruits) may only be dispersed by Megabats, meaning that these plants rely on Megabats in order to successfully reproduce.

It has been estimated that a single Megabat can dispense up to 60,000 seeds in a single night.

Megabats are also important for nutrient regeneration and nutrient cycling within the ecosystem.

Not only do they provide large quantities of fertilizer to the system, but they create gaps in the canopy which enables other plants to compete more effectively. For instance, some trees shade ground-dwelling plants and shrubs, preventing them from obtaining nutrients, light and rain. By creating a gap in the canopy, Megabats enable these plants to obtain more sunlight, rainfall and nutrients, thus promoting a more diverse plant community, with cascading benefits for many other animals and plants.

This video, and the other ones in this blog post, are parts of a series, of which I had already embedded the last video in another blog post.

Here come the sequels.

And also a video, not part of the series, but about the same species.

This video says about itself:

Tolga Mass Rescue of Little Red Flying Foxes off Barbed Wire

5 October 2012

This rescue involved 108 bats on barbed wire on one day, along a stretch of road and adjacent paddocks near to the Tolga Scrub on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North QLD, Australia.

These bats were Little Red Flying Foxes. They’re mostly juveniles (3 adults only), and oddly enough, nearly all female.

They’re inexperienced, newly returned to the Tolga Scrub. Some of the fencing was new. It was very windy the night before. All these factors combined to cause this horrific scenario.

All surviving bats being cared for at Tolga Bat Hospital.

Bats in Australia, video


This video from Australia says about itself:

Little Red Megabats (flying foxes) the fly out 11/02/2015

12 February 2015

Megabats are very important pollinators and seed disperses of many native plants including Eucalyptus, figs, bush apples (Syzygium spp.), bush plums (Terminalia spp.), paperbarks, guerrillas, and fruits of many palm species. The seeds of some plant species (particularly those with white and green fruits) may only be dispersed by Megabats, meaning that these plants rely on Megabats in order to successfully reproduce.

It has been estimated that a single Megabat can dispense up to 60,000 seeds in a single night.

Megabats are also important for nutrient regeneration and nutrient cycling within the ecosystem.

Not only do they provide large quantities of fertilizer to the system, but they create gaps in the canopy which enables other plants to compete more effectively. For instance, some trees shade ground-dwelling plants and shrubs, preventing them from obtaining nutrients, light and rain. By creating a gap in the canopy, Megabats enable these plants to obtain more sunlight, rainfall and nutrients, thus promoting a more diverse plant community, with cascading benefits for many other animals and plants.

What brown long-eared bats eat


This video from Britain is called Brown Long-Eared Bat (Plecotus auritus) Maternity Roost.

The Dutch mammal society has investigated what brown long-eared bats eat.

The research was in 49 churches in Utrecht province.

It turned out that 75% of the prey remains were large yellow underwing moths. All prey remains were of the owlet moth family.

Welsh bats, new research


This video is called Why Do Bats Need Cowpats? – The Animal’s Guide To Britain, Episode 2 – BBC Two.

From the Daily Post in Wales:

Holy pipistrelle! Bat men unearth the hidden species of Wales

Jan 23, 2015 15:45

The changing face of bat conservation in Wales over 30 years

For me, it all started in a room in Ruthin in 1984, along with fellow members of the North Wales Naturalists Trust.

We spent a day having lectures on aspects of bat biology, identification, conservation and licensing and in the evening we each had an opportunity to catch a pipistrelle in a hand net and examine it.

After that our licences were signed off and participants were urged to form new county Bat Groups. In our case it was the Clwyd Bat Group, but the same process was taking place over much of the rest of Wales.

The Bat Groups started to survey the status and distribution of their resident species, often starting from scratch. In Wales, with its abundance of natural caves and disused slate and lead mines, the easiest and most productive way of gathering this information was to survey hibernation sites.

Subsequently, many of these surveys have developed into long-term studies, highlighting national changes in bat distribution.

In the early 1990s, Montgomeryshire Bat Group reported a greater horseshoe bat hibernating in the West Llangynog Slate mine, even though previous records had been restricted to the southern Wales.

Initially it was suspected this was a single vagrant animal, but over the following winters the species was reported from other underground sites across the border in Clwyd and then as far north as the Conwy Valley.

Greater horseshoe bats are now recorded as summer residents in North Wales and it seems only a matter of time before breeding colonies are found in the area.

Another species that appears to be on the move is the serotine. Serotines are large bats that forage low over grassland feeding on dung beetles. Although there had been tentative sightings in south-west Wales, the first substantiated record of the species was in central Powys in 1984, where four animals emerged from the roof space of a large house.

One of them was caught and proved to be a juvenile serotine. It was viewed as an extraordinary discovery at the time but over the following decade there were records of individuals caught in mist nets and small colonies discovered in churches and other buildings.

Amid increasing evidence of a shift to the west in its range, it was perhaps not unexpected to have the odd one turn up in North Wales, as one did in 2011.

This might also have been regarded as a vagrant had it not been for the efforts of Sam Dyer and his colleagues, who established by radio-tracking the presence in North Wales of the fifth largest breeding colony in the UK, located 100km north of the nearest known roost.

It’s hard to believe that the species would have been overlooked back in the 1980s – they are noisy and make their presence felt in roosts, and they produce copious amounts of very distinctive shaped droppings.

They are also easy to pick up on a bat detector – but then bat detectors have changed too.

In the mid-1980s the only easily and cheaply available bat detector was made by Queen Mary’s College London, which bought in cheap transistor radios and modified them with a transducer microphone so they could detect ultra-sound.

It was not until the late 1990s that computer technology and electronics had progressed to the point where bat echolocation calls could be recorded in the field and subsequently analysed on a home computer.

This development continues to this day: it would have been impossible back in the 1980s to imagine a bat detector linked to a mobile phone, which displays sonograms of bat calls to you in the field as you watch the animal foraging for prey.

One species we have been able to detect more easily is the barbastelle. Rarely recorded in Wales during the 1980s and 1990s, they are now known to be widespread here, although they are still regarded as one of our rarest bats.

The new bat detector technology has not only allowed us to look at bat echolocation calls but also their social calls.

Bats use these calls to communicate things like territoriality and to attract mates during the breeding season. The calls vary between species and they are often quite complex and can consist of sharp frequency sweeps and trills.

When slowed down so that we can hear them, they are often quite beautiful and sound like bird song.

The past 30 years has seen some huge changes and our knowledge of the distribution and status of our bats has improved dramatically.

Protective legislation means that Wales is now home to one of the largest lesser horseshoe bat colonies in western Europe, with 1,000 resident bats.

New threats will undoubtedly emerge, but so too will advances in technology and survey techniques: we can look forward to GPS tags that are small enough to fit to bats, and maybe hand-held portable devices for confirming species identification using molecular techniques.

It seems likely the next 30 years will be as challenging and changeable as the past have been.

The author of this abridged article is Dr Henry Schofield, conservation programme manager for The Vincent Wildlife Trust

A longer version appears in the Winter edition of the quarterly magazine Natur Cymru – the Nature of Wales.

Secret life of British bats, video


This video from Britain says about itself:

17 December 2014

When everyone else is sleeping the bats in Britain’s countryside come to life. Researchers in Oxford University’s outdoor laboratory Wytham Woods lift the lid on the secret life of these varied and misunderstood mammals, offering a unique glimpse into a hidden twilight world.

Featuring contributions from Wytham Bat project co-ordinator Danielle Linton and researcher and presenter George McGavin.

Don’t allow undermining of protection for bats: here.

Migratory bats and wind energy: a research project in Canada: here.

Rare Natterer’s bat in Dutch national park for first time


This video sas about itself:

The Natterer’s bat in the BBC’s Life of Mammals series. In this clip, Natterer’s bats remove spiders from their webs to eat.

According to Twitter messages today, the rare Natterer’s bat has been found for the first time ever in the Biesbosch national park in the Netherlands.

The animal was found in an old military bunker, especially reconstructed for wintering bats.