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Developing an effective method for the systematic surveillance of bats in woodland habitats in the UK - WC1015

The aim of this project is to provide a methodology to sample woodland for bats using standardised and therefore repeatable acoustic surveys. This can be used to determine presence or absence of bats species in woodlands, and would also mean that data from across the UK, collected by a large number of volunteers, could be compared and combined over time to monitor national population trends and, depending upon the intensity and frequency of monitoring effort, regional and local trends. All bats in the UK are listed on the European Union Habitats Directive, and the UK is therefore required to undertake surveillance of bats and report on implementation of the Directive every six years; this includes reporting an assessment of the conservation status UK bat species. Currently information on the distribution, conservation status and habitat requirements of many woodland bat species is much less well known than for other species: This reflects the difficulties involved in trying to survey or study these animals in structurally complex habitats using existing methods. This methodology should help redress this.
2.1 The project will develop, test, critically assess, refine, document and publish a new survey method(s) for rapid and systematic monitoring of bats in woodland habitats.
2.2 The successful contractor will have considerable flexibility to develop proposals to meet this broad aim, but specifically, the project will provide a method that is repeatable and can be applied across a range of woodland types by trained and appropriately licensed volunteers, so that a regular and systematic assessment of woodland bats can become a component of the National Bat Monitoring Programme or be used as a standalone product, for example for SSSI condition assessment.
2.3 Value for money is a key criterion for assessing proposals in this competition. Defra would be particularly interested in proposals that envisage significant involvement of post-graduate or post-doctoral students, and/or of volunteer recorders, in the delivery of the contract provided that there is close and effective supervision in place to ensure the quality and timeliness of outputs.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : WC1015 Woodland Bats Final Report   (2644k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2013

Cost: £263,189
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of Leeds