Surveying for BATLAS 2020 has been running since 2015 and is entering its final year starting 1st May 2018. The project follows on from BATLAS 2010 but aims to fill in gaps in coverage from the last BATLAS and inform us how our bat populations are changing in distribution over time. BATLAS 2020 is funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the Republic of Ireland.
BATLAS 2010 was carried out in 2008-9 and it greatly increased our knowledge of the distribution of four of our most common bat species. The study suggests that some species may be less common or even absent in coastal areas in the North-West. The target species for BATLAS are:-
BATLAS 2020 in Northern Ireland also includes a fifth target species, the Nathusius’ pipistrelle.
Surveying for BATLAS is carried out by volunteers and the scheme is suitable for anyone who has some bat survey experience (beginners may benefit from starting with the Daubenton’s survey before moving onto BATLAS). If you are interested in joining us we would really appreciate your help! Just follow the instructions to register here.
You can download a BATLAS manual here to find out more about the survey (please consult the island survey manual if you are planning to survey on off-shore islands), there is also an instructional video to give you an overview of the scheme and to provide step-by-step instructions on how to register and submit your results to our online portal.
Training events for BATLAS have been taking place through 2016 and 2017, don’t worry if you missed these, you are still very welcome to participate.
In order to be covered by Bat Conservation Ireland insurance while conducting the BATLAS or other surveys you must sign up as either a paid member (€10-15 per annum, and also entitles you to newsletters and discounts on various events) or a temporary volunteer member (free but each surveyor must sign up individually for the survey year).
Live maps are regularly collated and posted on the results page.