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 county, by providing people with bat detectors so that they can monitor their local populations.
Residents on the estate opted to set up bat detectors in various estate locations, with the objective each time of covering 1 sq km on the project’s bat map. The results were good, with high numbers of more common bats, like Common and Soprano Pipistrelle, as well as appearances by some rarer species like the Nathusius Pipistrelle, Barbastelle 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, enabling the project 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.