In 2011 Bat Conservation Ireland commissioned the Centre for Irish Bat Research, Queens University Belfast, to carry out a study of all Irish bat records available between 2000 and 2009 and make predictions about which areas are most attractive to bats and where are bats most vulnerable. The work was funded by 26 local authorities, the NIEA and Bat Conservation Ireland.
Among other findings, the results show that bats are probably under-recorded in many parts of Ireland. Broadleaved woodland is the habitat type universally preferred by all Irish species, even if they do not forage in and around trees. Riparian (river’s edge) habitats are also very important.
QUB researchers also looked at our database of roost records and found that most species prefer maternity roosts in buildings that are constructed of stone, rather than modern brick or concrete. This underlines the value, for roosting bats, of heritage buildings in the landscape.
The maps of landscape favourability for each Irish bat species at a 5km resolution are available to view on the NBDC mapping website (you must agree to their terms and conditions).
You can view static images of the maps here.