Northumberland Bat Group have a few projects on the go, please click on the links to see what has been going on! Projects tend to get updated at the end of the season each year, for up to date chat on what people are doing, please join our facebook page. Event dates and locations are sent out to members, please join us to find out more.
Northumberland Nathusius' Pipistrelle Project
This is part of a national project to find out more information on this migratory bat which has taken up residence, coming in via the north sea. The project has been ongoing for a few years now and has yielded some great results, especially through the determination of volunteers, as well as the use of radio tracking.
Results have included videos of a mating roost, evidence of breeding and also the recapture of certain ringed individuals. While these bats have a reputation for being migratory, some may hang around!
Radio tracking set used for finding Nathusius' pipistrelle bat roosts.
Bats are seen regularly in the summer and easily surveyed. But where do they go to hibernate? What conditions do they prefer and what influence does the weather / humidity etc have on their location choice?
Members have been visiting some sites in the county to monitor known roosts and check out potential new ones. All surveys are lead by a suitably licenced bat surveyor, so please ask if you are interested in coming on one of these surveys. .
Hibernating Natterers bat in a cave.
Gosforth Park Bat Boxes
A range of different boxes have been placed up in trees around Gosforth Park. They are being monitored and all of the statistics analysed, so that we can learn more about which type of boxes bats prefer, or if particular species perfer a specific type of bat box. In addition to this the boxes face different aspects (north, east, south, west); at certain times of year, it seems that bats may prefer facing certain directions.
Gosforth Park is a great place for bats, the mature trees are perfect for a range of species. We also have the NBG flight cage here too, so we can test fly bats before releasing them back into the wild.
Small Myotis Project
The smaller members of the genus Myotis in the UK are very tricky to tell apart, and the only reliable method is use of DNA analysis. Brandt's and Whiskered bats are well recorded in the county, but could the elusive Alcathoe's bat be lurking in amongst them?!
Photograph to the left shows an Alcathoe bat on the left and a Whiskered bat on the right.