Our Bat Survey team members, Aoife Joyce, Sara Fissolo and Laura McEntegart attended a training course in Cavan last month to broaden their skills in bat survey techniques. The course, run by Bat Conservation Ireland (BCI), covered topics related to bat handling etiquette, trapping methods and species identification in hand. It included night-time excursions to two known roost locations and a trip to Deerpark Forest.
The traps were set up each evening, and bats were captured using techniques learned in the earlier modules. Trapping methods included hand nets, harp traps, mist nets and lures. All trapping and handling of bats was carried out under licence from NPWS and expert supervision. Biometric data of all captured bats were gathered and later released on site. The information recorded during the surveys will contribute to the national bat database maintained by BCI. The course concluded with inspecting bat boxes deployed as part of an ongoing bat box scheme. Species handled over the weekend included Soprano pipistrelle, Daubenton’s, and Leisler’s.
It was a privilege to meet and work with other ecologists and bat specialists and share our experiences. Thank you to Dr Tina Aughney and Niamh Roche for organising and running the sessions. Bat Conservation Ireland is a fantastic organisation dedicated to furthering knowledge of the bat species in Ireland. We recommend becoming a member and participating in their volunteer-based annual monitoring surveys. Keep an eye out for BCI meetings and bat walks around Ireland on their website!