Over the last few years, BrumBats have been working towards understanding the assemblages and movements of bats in our urban and suburban landscape through the Urban Bat Project. We’re trying to learn how different species of bats are moving around the urban fringes of our region, and whether they are using railway corridors, canals or hedgerows.
In 2017 we studied two key sites under a project licensed by Natural England, and we found two important swarming sites in former limestone mines, with a much higher diversity of species than we anticipated, including some very rare (or under-recorded) species in our region such as lesser horseshoe bat, Leisler’s bat and serotine.
In 2018, the Urban Bat Project is concentrating on learning about the species assemblages of sites which are connected (by rail, water or other landscape features like woodland edge and hedgerow) to our 2017 survey sites. We plan to spend our summer months (while the bats are in their maternity season) doing surveys to observe movements, as well as emergence surveys of buildings in the area to try to find maternity roosts of species like those listed above.
You can follow our adventures on social media platforms by following the hashtag #UrbanBatProject
The project has been supported so far by the Heritage Lottery Fund (who funded £7,000 to pay for trapping equipment), the Bat Conservation Trust Swarming Fund (£400 for special extension cables for static bat detectors to allow us to monitor swarming sites that are hard to access) and the Conseris App (who have sponsored us with full project use of their data collection software for a year).
We are continuing to seek funding for equipment and research costs to keep the project going.