Clare County Bat Group

Promoting Interest and Research in our Local Community

Bat Conservation Ireland Daubentons Survey Training evening - Ennis, Co. Clare

It is the 8th year of the All Ireland Duabenton’s Bat Waterway Survey and we are seeking volunteers in County Clare. Are you interested in surveying your local waterway for Daubenton’s bat on 2 nights during the month of August? If so, join us for free training at 8pm on the 5th July at the Civic Room, Ennis Town Council, Ennis, County Clare. This training will involve an indoor lecture followed by a practical session using bat detectors on a local river.

This survey is part of a monitoring scheme recording the activity of the Daubenton’s bat. These yearly surveys allow us to determine whether the population of this bat species is increasing or decreasing. The more volunteer teams we have the more accurate our information is. In 2012, 218 waterways were surveyed across the island, three of which were in County Clare. Your help is needed to increase coverage for the county.

The Daubenton’s bat is known as the water bat because of its preference to roost and feed close to water such as rivers and lakes. It is easy to identify because of all of our 9 resident species of bat, it is the only species that will be seen continuously skimming the water surface as it is feeding on insects. Surveyors will be in teams of 2 people. Bat Conservation Ireland will provide the use of a bat detector for the survey.  No prior experience is needed.

The All Ireland Daubenton’s Bat Waterway Survey is funded by the NPWS, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and NIEA, Northern Ireland.

If you would like more information or would like to register, please click onto the following internet web link:

 

http://www.batconservationireland.org/php/monitoring_daub.php

Ireland’s BioBlitz 2013

Dedicated to the memory of Éamon de Buitléar

 Please click on the following link for a list of the events taking place at the Burren National Park BioBlitz this weekend

Bioblitz 2013 BNP Poster.pdf

 

The National Biodiversity Data Centre, in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Coillte and the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording is organising Ireland’s BioBlitz event on 24 & 25 May 2013.  The event will be held at four locations; Wicklow Mountains National Park, Co. Wicklow, Burren National Park, Co. Clare, Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon and Colebrooke Estate, Co. Fermanagh.

The four sites will compete to record the most species of wildlife over a 24-hour period. There will also be a programme of activities at each site running in conjunction with BioBlitz for anyone interested in wildlife to attend and join in the recording activity.

Ireland’s BioBlitz – What is it?

Ireland’s BioBlitz brings together scientists and recorders in a race against time to see how many species can be recorded in a 24-hour biological survey of four of Ireland’s heritage sites. The public is invited to observe the activities, to interact with the recorders and to participate in the range of other activities arranged by the host venues. By pitting the four venues against each other, it will bring an added dimension to the event, allowing comparisons to be made between the sites, and to gain further insights into the relative biological richness of the different habitats.

Ireland’s BioBlitz is designed to increase public awareness of the variety of life in Ireland and to highlight some of the ecological services that biodiversity provides to enhance our quality of life at the global and the local level. It is also hoped to demonstrate the high level of skill and expertise necessary to study many aspects of Ireland’s biological diversity.

How will it work?

A ‘Base Camp’ will be established at each venue which will serve as the hub for the BioBlitz activities at each site. This will be managed by staff of the host site and the National Biodiversity Data Centre, working in collaboration with some key experts invited to the event. Base Camp will be equipped with species lists and other equipment that might be needed on the day to aid the identification and validation of species observed. It will also be from where recorder and volunteer effort is coordinated to optimise the recording effort and where the overall species tally will be done. A large tally board will be located at each Base Camp to keep recorders and visitors informed of progress, and unusual or exciting news will be posted on the BioBlitz notice board throughout the day.

Activities throughout the event from all sites will be channelled through the Ireland’s BioBlitz website which is co-ordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre offices in Waterford. Observations received at Base Camp will be logged onto a specially developed Ireland’s BioBlitz 2013 online record submission form, which will show, in real time, progress with recording tally and enable visitors to the site to see what species have been recorded at each site. In addition to showing the progress with record collation, the Ireland’s BioBlitz website will provide news updates and present photographs of activities.

A snapshot of progress at each site will be presented on the website at 00.00hrs, 11.00hrs, 13.00hrs and 15.00hrs on 25th May. The winning site will be the site that has submitted the most species on-line by 17.00hrs.

When will it take place?

Ireland’s BioBlitz 2013 will start at 17.00hrs on Friday 24th May and end precisely 24 hours later at 17.00hrs on Saturday 25th May. The recording and logging of species ends precisely at 17.00hrs on 25th May, whether or not there are more species to be counted. Any outstanding records not logged by 17.00hrs will be kept and used to generate a complete species list after the event.  The winning site will be the one that has the largest number of species logged on-line by the cut-off time

How will it be organised?

Stephen McCormack_1024x765

Identifying insects ..

 

There will be scientific survey activity running throughout the 24 hour period, and members of the public are invited to participate and attend the event.  Members of the public are invited to visit the sites between 09.00hrs to 17.00hrs on Saturday 25th May. A number of key experts and experienced recorders have volunteered their time to participate in the BioBlitz at each venue. They will use their knowledge and expertise to conduct survey work at different locations throughout the sites to optimise the number of species counted. By opening the event to the public on Saturday, visitors are encouraged to interact with the scientists and recorders to see how they undertake their survey work and collate their findings. A programme of extra events will be organised from Base Camp throughout the day to provide additional activities for visitors.

Rules

As this is primarily a fun event, the rules are straightforward. Record all the species seen within, or from, the site you are surveying between 17.00hrs on 24 May and 17.00hrs 25 May 2013. This includes wild, naturalised and feral species, but does not include domesticated or species held in captivity. Plants growing within formal gardens or planted in flower beds are not to be included in the species list.  Lists of species recorded can be submitted by anyone, but surveyors should register at Base Camp in advance. Records should be submitted on the official BioBlitz recording sheets available at Base Camp on the day.

A record should be to species level and must include the minimum information: species name, recorder name, detailed location name and/or grid reference.

For difficult taxonomic groups a record to the genus level can constitute a valid record. However, if there is even one species recorded for a genus, then an additional genus level record is not valid.

In the vast majority of cases, records are generated by direct sightings of organisms.  Nevertheless, records will be accepted based on what is considered conventional recording for a particular group. For example, for bat recording, the use of bat detectors to confirm identification through echolocation, or the identification of land mammals by tracks are valid means of generating records and will be accepted. Similarly the recording of birds by song is valid.

Surveying techniques such as pitfall trapping, which would normally involve the placement of traps over an extended period of time will not be permitted. Any trapping activity must commence after 17.00hrs on Friday 24th May.

After the Event

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2012 winners – Crawfordsburn Country Park

 

A specially designed certificate will be presented to the winning site by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. The name of the winning site will also be added to the perpetual BioBlitz trophy, to go beside the names of the previous winners Connemara National Park, Killarney National Park and Crawfordsburn Country Park.

A complete species list for each site will be finalised, seeking the advice of experts where necessary, and the records will be mapped on Biodiversity Maps, the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s mapping system. Each participating site will be provided with a separate hard copy species list for its own use.

How can I become involved?

Moth trapping with Michael Bell_1024x687

Moth trapping ..

 

If you are interested in assisting with the recording or just wish to participate in the programme of events that each site will provide on the day, please visit the site page for contact details or email info@biodiversityireland.ie.

All venues would welcome the assistance of experienced recorders to assist with survey work on the day.

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is extremely grateful to the support of all of the scientists who volunteer to give of their time freely to assist with this event. The Centre is also grateful for the support of its partners, in particular National Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Centre for Environment Data and Recording, Coillte.

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"Remarkable discovery" as Greater Horseshoe Bat found in Ireland  (Article sourced from http://www.thejournal.ie/ 

A single male Greater Horseshoe bat was found roosting in Co Wexford, Bat Conservation Ireland said today.

Image: Gilles San Martin via flickr/Creative Commons

The first record of a Greater Horsehoe bat has been made in Ireland.

Bat Conservation Ireland said today that on 24 February of this year, a single male Greater Horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) was found roosting in Co Wexford, a find which it called a “remarkable discovery“.

The discovery, which is the first record of this species occurring naturally in Ireland, was made by Paul Scott, a professional bat worker and member of Bat Conservation Ireland.

He told TheJournal.ie that the find – which has been described as a career-defining moment for him – came while he was doing a survey of a farm building as part of the Heritage Council Grant Scheme.

Hanging from the ceiling

While looking in cellars (where bats are known to hibernate) under the building, he saw a bat hanging down from the ceiling. Greater Horseshoe bats are the only type of bat in Ireland to hang from the ceiling, and tend to be the stereotypical type of bat that people think of as they wrap their wings around them to keep warm.

Other bat species jam themselves into cracks and crevices and don’t hang from the ceiling. As the bat was 2m above him, Scott wasn’t sure at first if it was such a bat, but after revisiting the site a few days later, when the bat was in a different room, he was able to verify it was a Greater Horseshoe.

There are only 9 species that are definitely known to be in Ireland so this is a huge discovery. It is thought this bat must have flown around 100km from its nearest roosting place, south west Wales.

“There is so much that we don’t know about bats,” said Scott, saying that they are not sure exactly why this bat had travelled to Ireland.

Solitary

Its identity has been confirmed by the Centre for Irish Bat Research, University College Dublin by analysing a sample of its DNA.

Greater horseshoe bats are found in a small number of locations in Wales and southwest England as well as across Southern Europe. Its close relative the Lesser Horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) is found in western Counties in Ireland including Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Galway and Mayo.

Both species are protected under the EC Habitats Directive as they are vulnerable to loss of roosts and loss of suitable habitat. Thanks to conservationists, the Lesser and Greater Horseshoe bat populations have recently stabilised following a decline of 99 per cent in the UK in the last century.

This very large bat has a wingspan stretching over 30cm, and is called a Horseshoe bat due to a horseshoe-shaped flap of skin on its face that helps in navigation by echolocation in the dark.

At this time of year, most bats are sleeping through periods of cold weather, occasionally waking to feed on milder nights. Bat Conservation Ireland volunteers will now undertake further survey work “to see if this is a vagrant bat that has entered the country by accident, or if this is a pioneer bat looking to extend its natural range”.

 

Events 2013

This year the Clare Bat Group will once again host a series of Bat Walks and Talks throughout the County at a variety of locations. For an up to date list of all our events please click on the "Events and Activities" page. Also keep an eye on our live calender on the bottom right of each page which will be up-dated with the exact times and meeting points over the coming weeks. The walks are suitable for all ages with families welcome. Admission is free and you do not need to be a member. It is advised to bring warm clothing and wear suitable footwear for the outdoors. We also suggest you bring a torch if you have one but it is not essential. 

Myths about Bats!

People often have tremendous fears of bats due to old myths and stories but many if not all of these are untrue!.

  1. They are not blind
  2. They don’t fly into people’s hair
  3. They feed on insects, flies and moths (not blood!)
  4. They do hibernate in Winter
  5. They can return to peoples attic spaces to roost once the warmer weather comes during the spring and summer.
  6. They roost in the extremities of buildings, eg. between felt and slates, in fascias etc.
  7. They don't bring in nest material.
  8. They don't chew on wires.
  9. Unlike rodents, they only have one baby a year, only approximately 50% of these young survive their first year.

Clare Focus Web-Site

A biodiversity sidebar has been added to the Clare Focus website. This allows all biodiversity organizations to advertise their events on one location, but more importantly to view the events of others and avoid unnecessary clashes.

http://www.clarefocus.ie/

Barotrauma - Why Wind Turbines Can Mean Death For Bats!

"Power-generating wind turbines have long been recognized as a potentially life-threatening hazard for birds. But at most wind facilities, bats actually die in much greater numbers" http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825132107.htm

WHITE NOSE SYNDROME

A new fungal disease that has caused deaths of over 1 million bats in the U.S. has now been found in France. Bat Conservation Ireland has more information on White Nose Syndrome (click here to download pdf) and recommends that bat workers and cavers familiarise themselves with guidelines to prevent the spread of this fungus that is potentially lethal to bats.

County Clare Bat Group

The Clare Bat Group was established at an inaugural meeting in Dromore Woods in September 2006. The setting up of such a group was a natural response to the county's growing status as one of Europe's most important centres for bat populations. Nine of the ten species of bats in Ireland are found breeding in Clare while the Daubenton's bats, which are endangered in parts of Europe, are still considered relatively common in the county.

One of the Clare Bat Groups main objectives is to expose the highly complex lives of bats and to dispel the myths that exist about them. Few people know that bats have good eyesight and highly developed hearing, using sonar.

New members welcome

For further details please email: clarebatgroup@gmail.com

 

In case of Emergency

Should you need to contact someone in relation to finding an injured or trapped bat or have a particular concern in relation to bats in your house or buidlings please contact the relevant NPWS Wildlife Ranger in Clare from the list below

Contact Details;

David Lyons - South East Clare - (076 100 2585 )/Mobile 087-2867079

Sinead Biggane - North East Clare - (076 100 2586)

Penny Bartlett - North West Clare - (076 100 2584)

Emma Glanville - Burren National Park and North Clare  - (076 100 2583)

 

natureconservation@environ.ie

www.npws.ie

 

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