By Miranda Collett
If you regularly wander around some of the Island’s woodlands, in particular those associated with water, you may see one or two additions to the trees.
The Jersey Bat Group in conjunction with the Collett Trust for Endangered Species has placed 50 bat boxes in local woodlands including Val de la Mare, St Peter’s Valley and (shortly) St Catherine’s Woods.
Thanks to Jersey Water, National Trust for Jersey and the Department of the Environment for authorising us to use their land for our project.
We are using these nest boxes as a tool for discovering which species of bats inhabit our woodlands. We will be monitoring the boxes, which are of the Kent box design with two chambers (see details on the Kent box here), from April to October using non-invasive methods such as the collection of droppings for analysis, detection of echolocation, direct observation and emergence surveys. These boxes have a good record in the UK for bat occupation so we are hoping that some may be in use this spring/summer.
As well as providing additional roosts for our woodland bat species, we hope to expand local knowledge of the status, distribution, ecology and population trends of our woodland bat species through the monitoring of these supplementary roosts.
A full list of Jersey’s bat species can be seen here
This is a 5-year project during which time we will be expanding and diversifying the project to cover more of Jersey’s woodland. Full details of the project can be downloaded here