Jersey Bat Group Open Meeting and Volunteer Drive

When:              1 April 2020

Where:            Société Jersiaise

Time:               19:30 – 21:00

The Jersey Bat Group are holding an open evening 1st April to welcome anyone who would like to know more about the work they do. The group invites anyone with an interest in conservation, wildlife volunteering, public engagement or arts and crafts to come along to find out about the volunteering opportunities and training they have to offer.

PLEASE NOTE there may be disruption to planned events through concerns over Covid-19 so watch out for any changes to plans.

Over the last few years, the Jersey Bat Group has been busy. They have discovered new records of bat species in the Island, learnt more about the roost sites of different bat species, increased public awareness by providing talks and walks for schools, building professionals and other organisations. Members have learnt new skills including identifying different species of bats from sounds and appearance, rope access skills to check for roosts in trees, advanced survey skills to carefully trap bats for analysis in the hand and release. Members have also assisted with the ringing of bats as part of licenced projects studying the movement and migration of bats and help track radio-tagged bats to find out where they live and forage.

As the hibernation season draws to a close, the group are gearing up for another busy season of public engagement and research. There are lots of activities that you can get involved in even if you haven’t got any previous experience. For the seasoned bat enthusiasts there are plenty of opportunities for you to develop and grow your skills with the advanced surveys.

The April meeting will give an overview of some of the activities volunteers can get involved in and you will be able to sign up on the spot!  Activities include:

  • Public engagement – including stalls, public walks and talks. This year’s focus is on light pollution and the effect this has on humans as well as nocturnal wildlife
  • Fund raising – e.g. pub quizzes, stalls, cake sales, bat themed merchandise and any other great ideas volunteers may have
  • Transect surveys – walking a set route after sunset with a bat detector to record bat activity 
  • Passive acoustic surveys – assisting with the collection of data from bat detectors left at sites to record activity at a specific site (great for those who prefer to volunteer during daylight hours!)
  • Sound analysis – learn to analyse the recordings from the surveys above to identify the species of bat present and see if the bats are feeding or socialising as well as echolocating to find their way around
  • Members’ activity walks – informal walks, usually monthly, where members can learn to use bat detectors and chat to others about all things batty
  • Roost monitoring
    • counting bats as they emerge from known roosts. This helps us to see how bats are doing year on year and if populations are increasing or declining
    • Checking bat boxes
  • Advanced bat surveys – trapping bats so we can find out more about the breeding status of different bat species within the Island and learn more about the cryptic species of bat in Jersey (these sound similar on the acoustic survey, so the way we find out more is by looking closely at the bats to identify the specific species)
  • Arts ‘n’ crafts – we are keen to recruit artistic or creative volunteers to make batty themed products for the stall and liven up our website and social media.

Amy Hall, Chair of the Jersey Bat Group, said “Bats are fascinating and often misunderstood mammals.  We are hoping that this open meeting and volunteer drive will help both dispel the negative myths about bats and also to enthuse members of the public to help us with bat conservation and research. 

You don’t need to be a member of the group to attend but there will be some membership forms available on the night for anyone wanting to become more involved, or just to support the work we do.”

 

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