Residents at Dartington have been taking part in the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project, annual survey – a citizens science project which aims to better understand the range and frequency of bat species across the country, by providing people with bat detectors so that they can monitor their local populations.
A bat detector was set up in a private garden in the central area of our estate, with the objective of covering 1 sq km on the project’s bat map. The results were striking, with high numbers and some rather rare species recorded, including Common Pipistrelle, Noctule, Soprano Pipistrelle, Serotine, Leisler, Daubenton’s bat and Greater Horseshoe – the latter almost exclusive to the south west within the UK.
Bats find their prey through a process called echolocation and it’s this call that the bat detector will record. Many of these calls are distinctive to a particular bat, or a group of bats, allowing us to work out what species have been detected.
Would you like to know what bats are on your favourite walk, or in your local area? Register to take part in the survey, pick your square, collect a detector from a host site (including our Visitor Centre) and add some invaluable statistics to the project.