The Government of Jersey’s Natural Environment team and the Jersey Biodiversity Centre are calling on Islanders to help with conservation research into where bats live and breed in Jersey.
RoostwatchJE follows on from previous citizen-led studies in the Island such as PondwatchJE and ReptilewatchJE. The new scheme encourages Islanders to take photographs, and to log sightings or indications of bat roosting sites via www.roostwatch.je
Tips for looking for bats around homes, gardens and outbuildings include:
- Look for gaps where they might squeeze in (under roof tiles, behind cladding, fascia boards etc).
- Look for holes in trees, for example woodpecker holes, cracks in branches or lifted bark.
- Look on the ground, windowsills, and walls for crumbly droppings, and look for dark stains just below a gap where bat roosts may be present.
- If you are going into an open space like a barn or attic, keep an eye out for piles of crumbly droppings and insect wings on the floor.
- At dusk, enjoy the warm evenings in your garden while looking for bats leaving their roosts.
Liz Walsh, Senior Environment Officer, said: ‘18 different species of bat have been recorded in Jersey, but for many of these species little is known of their roosting sites. Knowing where bats are resting during the day enables researchers to gather important data about the features they choose to roost in and enables the recording of bat sounds as they fly to and from their roosts. These sounds or echolocation calls are key to the development of future methods to monitor populations.
‘Protecting and monitoring bats is particularly important to us at the moment as bats are facing threats including climate change, falling insect numbers, light pollution and a habitat loss. Roostwatch aims to increase our understanding of the places that bats in Jersey call ‘home’, which will enable us to do further research and help us assess their conservation status in the Island.”
For more details of how to take part in the research, and for a guide on how to look for roosts or signs of bats, visit www.roostwatch.je