Harp trapping for bats with the Suffolk Bat Group

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Nathan, one of our ecologists has been volunteering with Suffolk Bat Group over the past month, to assist with the National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project at Alton Water reservoir.This project involved the Suffolk and Essex Bat Groups teaming up to set up two harp traps around the site to try and capture Nathusius’ pipistrelles Pipistrellus nathusii. A harp trap allows bats to be caught without becoming entangled within a net. The strings on the harp trap cause bats to turn perpendicular to the ground to avoid one set of string but obstructs them when they correct their angle back to normal causing them to close their wings and fall unharmed into a collection chamber. In this case two harp traps were set up, with a Nathusius’ pipistrelle call played on a lure at two second intervals.

Two trapping sessions were conducted on the 9th and 23rd September. The bats caught were identified using a range of features including their general size, colour, forearm length, fifth finger length, weight, wing venation and many more.

A total of 31 bats and four species were caught during the first session, including common pipistrelles, soprano pipistrelles, Nathusius’ pipistrelles and Daubenton’s. The seven male Nathusius’ bats were all ringed for conservation monitoring purposes.

A total of 23 bats and five species were caught during the second session, including common pipistrelles, soprano pipistrelles, Nathusius’ pipistrelles, Daubenton’s and brown long-eared bats. During this session five male Nathusius’ bats were caught and ringed.

This season has been very successful, with 15 bats ringed. Nathan and the other volunteers have done a great job helping with the project and we hope it has the same success next year. For more information on the National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project please contact the Suffolk Bat Group by clicking here.

Greenlight has experience in conducting various work with bats, including Preliminary Bat Roost Assessments (“PRA”), Bat Surveys, Mitigation Licences and Watching Briefs. Please click here for more information on bat surveys or the ecology services we offer. If you require a quote, need further explanation or have any questions, please contact us by clicking here.