Thursday, 12 April 2012

New Bat Survey Guidelines


The new Bat Survey Guidelines are available from the Bat Conservation Trust here Bat Survey Guidelines

These specifically wanted to  end the practice whereby some consultants (and sometimes SNCO's and LPA's) concentrated on the number of surveys (insisting on three) rather than the seasonal sampling of bats throughout the active period (Spring, Summer, Autumn). In the previous (2007) case a consultant could say that they had complied with the three survey requirement, having actually only carried out three surveys on consecutive nights. This is not a reasonable sampling effort.

The new Guidelines make it clear that a dusk and dawn survey in a 24 hour period is one survey, not two as some have interpreted. Given that the level of scrutiny from LPA's on methodology is  limited  and some consultants seem to have been keen to try and 'get round' things as there are many incentives to do so, BCT hopes that this will clarify matters. 

Also new:
  • Analysis is required for all professional surveys; and the
  • Definition of survey effort for major infrastructure projects

These are  'guidelines' not standards and differences from the guidelines are permissibale when justified by the expert.

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