I recently deployed a Wildlife Acoustics Song Meter SM4BAT FS to a location in south West Britain as part of Arbtech’s long-term project to monitor bat activity in relation to metrological conditions. The site, in the south west, is in an area where a diversity of bat species is present and the unit is monitoring a section of riparian woodland and associated meadow.

Arbtech is carrying out or sponsoring a range of scientific studies aimed at addressing areas where there is currently a paucity of scientific literature. Our intention, in helping to plug these gaps, is to provide a more informed scientific basis to guide survey protocols and assist regulators in their decision processes. Arbtech is committed to making the results of such studies available to the scientific community and anyone else with a legitimate interest through peer reviewed publication, conference presentation, and dissemination from our website.

Our long term study of bat activity relating to weather conditions is being informed by data logging stations currently being installed at representative locations across the UK and through our commercial surveying activity.

The SM4BAT is a robust waterproof bat detection unit that is capable of data-logging bat activity for long periods between battery changes. As such the unit allows us to capture a complete bat activity record for a specific location for periods of months or years.

Having conducted a literature review I found that there is very little information that relates bat emergence times and activity levels to temperature. At the moment best practice survey guidelines state that bat surveys conducted when the sunset air temperature is less than 10°C should be justified by the ecologist and the effect on bat behaviour considered.

The Arbtech research is intended to increase the sophistication of that understanding so that any ecologist can make a more informed consideration of the effect on bat behaviour. By the end of 2016 we will have collated our first full season of bat activity information but the project will continue through to 2020 with staged releases of information planed over that period.

If you have a specific interest in this project, I would be very interested to hear from you. Please do get in contact.