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13 Jul 2017

Evening Bat Walks

Posted in All

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is hosting some new exciting events this summer – come along on special Evening Bat Walks starting on 21 July. This is a rare opportunity to see our reserve at night and the animals that inhabit them.

In the UK there are 17 different species of bat, all of which are vulnerable making it vital to monitor their activity to ensure their conservation. Bats are extremely difficult to survey due to their nocturnal activity therefore, detectors are required to detect the echolocation calls that bats produce in order to catch their prey. Historically, surveys done on the reserve have used heterodyne detectors, but these require experience in order to interpret the sounds being produced. The reserves newest bat detector gives us both visual and sound analysis of the bats echolocation calls, and even has to ability to automatically identify bat species making it much easier to carry out a basic survey.

Last year, a reserve placement student, Amy Sherwin, undertook a project to do

Five Soprano Pipistrelle bats in a batbox at Arundel

regular bat surveys on the reserve.

Amy said: “I carried out regular field surveys in order to investigate where bat species are present on the reserve. Field surveys require walking a transect across the reserve and stopping at 12 specific locations while using the detector to search for bat activity. The bat detector also produces a map at the end of the survey, which can be used to see what species are using particular habitat areas of the reserve. We have identified the presence of five different bat species currently using the site including; Soprano Pipistrelle, Common pipistrelle, Noclule, Daubentons and Brown Long eared Bats. This information along with the maps produced should give us a good idea of any specific management that might be required.”

Every Friday night from 21 July to 11 August, Martin Mere is giving people the opportunity to come on an Evening Bat Walk and see these species for themselves.  The evening will include finding out all about bats as well as using detectors to search for them on the reserve. It’s a 8.30pm start, till late, searching for bats on the reserve. The event is £12.50 per person and you must book in advance by calling 01704 895181.

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 6pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.