New site: Daubenton's bat maternity colony located


 Daubenton's bats

Earlier this week three of us went to an undisclosed location in Barnes to assess an area thought to be used by Daubenton's bats. The bats were heard chittering during a survey by two Project officers working for the Friends of Barnes Common. They withdrew until someone with the requisite license could join them.

Nineteen bats were counted at three locations, including smaller fluffy individuals deemed to be juveniles. Judging by droppings and staining found elsewhere at the site, the nursery was slightly further to the south. 

There are not many maternity colonies of this species known in the Greater London area and hopefully we can monitor this roost using thermal cameras and static bat detection equipment. 

The location is naturally dark and we want to keep it that way by writing to the adjacent  landowners. Daubenton's bats require no/low levels of light to move along river corridors to foraging areas and alternative roost sites. 

This species has been  declining in the London region due to constant threats from development, habitat loss and fragmentation and light pollution such as this one at Seething-wells .

Researchers from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Wallingford and the Universities of Oxford and Exeter concluded that as groups use very small areas for their roosting needs, this species is vulnerable to even minor habitat changes.
In recent years, a large colony has been located in similar circumstances in NW London, and this has the potential to be of similar magnitude.

 An excellent find by Will and Tarun FoBC

More about local Daubenton's bats can be found here in this blog I have kept for a number of years on the maternity colony at Seething Wells and the environs: this includes habitat requirements, Daubenton's caught whilst harp trapping at the Thames Water Hogsmill nature reserve, found outside Tudor Williams and a bat found later to have the  Lyssavirus which came into care



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