2017 Bat Project

Background

Ambios has been informally monitoring the bats at Lower Sharpham Farm for some years. When the Linhay was redeveloped in 2014 a bat survey of the original part-timber building indicated the presence of Lesser Horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros) although only a single individual was observed. There is a significant maternity root of Lesser Horseshoe bats in the roof of the old stable block at Sharpham House. A bat loft was provided in the roof of the new Linhay building with an exit at the north end (over the toilets). Bat walks around the farm and down at the bridge over the stream have produced records of Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentoni), soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) and common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) as well as noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) flying high overhead. Greater Horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) and Barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus) are also known to fly by and there is a  roost for Greaters at Sharpham House.

Focus

The focus for the bat project at Lower Sharpham Farm will be the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat project  for which the farm is a monitoring site. While the project is focuses on Greater Horseshoe bats other species will be recorded at the same time.

The key questions to be addressed are:

  1.  Which features (trees, rivers, hedges etc) are most used by bats at Lower Sharpham Farm?
  2.  Where could new habitat features be placed to best benefit the movement and foraging opportunities for bats?

Method

To address these questions 5 Devon Greater Horseshoe project Anabat bat detectors and 1 Ambios Anabat bat detector will be deployed at key features across the farm. The locations and duration of monitoring will be decided in collaboration with Devon Greater Horseshoe project and the Ambios team. Data from these detectors will be regularly analysed and tabular and graphical outputs produced and interpreted.

Outputs

The data will be explored and analysed for the year of operation and in the context of previously existing data year. Trainees will make a presentation on this year of results in comparison to the full data set to the Ambios Team and invited guests.

Indicative time allocation for trainee inputs

0.5 day training in bat detector deployment

1 day deploying bat detectors

2 day to collate results

2 day to prepare outputs

0.5 days to present outputs