Bat activity surveys are undertaken between the months of May and October, with the key period June to August being of particular importance. Ideally sites should be visited a minimum of three times during the survey period, or more frequently as appropriate with the approach and methodology varying depending on the level of activity recorded. Bat surveys we complete usually include a combination of the following:-
- Manual Activity Surveys
- Car based transect surveys
- Static Detector Surveys, at ground level and at height
- identification of potential roosts
- Surveys of known roosts
During our bat surveys we also employ the latest technology, including the use of Anabat Bioacoustic Systems. These ultrasonic recorders can be left on a site for an extended period to increase the amount of data collected, while minimising the number of ecologist hours required.
Our staff have been formally trained on Anabat data analyses. We have also begun working with DeTect and hope to bring their Merlin Wind Energy Bird and Bat Mortality Risk Assessment Monitoring and Mitigation System to Ireland. Our staff have recently received formal operational and technical training from DeTect’s on the use of the MERLIN radar system for wind farm pre-construction surveys and for operational wind farms. Because of its far greater range and acuity compared to ultrasonic detection devices, radar is proving itself to be the most useful tool in assessing bat movement and activity.