The Norfolk Bat Survey Receives Over 250,000 Acoustic Recordings
The Norfolk Bat Survey has received over 250,000 recordings of bats, according to BBC News. The research, which began in April this year, is intended to create an accurate picture of the Norfolk bat population. The public can join in with the project by borrowing acoustic equipment from centers for bat monitoring that are distributed widely across Norfolk, such as nature reserves and libraries.
This initiative was set up by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and is sponsored by The People’s Trust for Endangered Species, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Natural England.
Thirteen species have been recorded by the acoustic equipment so far and according to Dr Stuart Newson, senior research ecologist at BTO, the number of people involved in the project is encouraging. He added that researchers have received around 400 Nathusius pipistrelle recordings to date, mainly around the Broads. This species has only been recorded a few times in the past.
Researchers are hoping to confirm the presence of a new species in Norfolk – the Alcathoe bat, which was discovered in the United Kingdom three years ago. Even though early research of the recordings shows the bat’s presence in the county, Newson said that researchers need to catch one first, in order to identify the species, as currently finding an Alcathoe bat is “a bit of a needle in a haystack”.
There are 17 bat species in the United Kingdom, which are protected by law because of their declining population, according to researchers from the University of Leeds.