The downloadable documents below give clues and tips on how to identify between bat species. If you are loaning an Anabat or SM2 detector this is not important as we can determine species by using the software, but it is obviously more fun if you and determine this for yourself! Don’t forget, bats cannot read! So they do not always follow the rules. If you are not sure on a species don’t worry about it too much. It is better to have an undetermined identification than it is to have a wrongly determined identification.
Gardening for bats.
On warm summer evenings if you are out in your garden you may well see bats flying and feeding at dusk. Most species of bats will use gardens to feed, even within towns and villages. All British bats are insectivorous; a single common pipistrelle bat can eat 3000 midges a night. Bats provide natural pest control, eating insects ranging from the tiny midge up to larger moths such as the large yellow underwing.
You can encourage bats to use your garden by choosing plants that flower at night, are night scented or have white or pale flowers which will all attract insects, providing food for visiting bats. Creating a pond or compost heaps in your garden will also increase the number of insects available for foraging bats.
The Bat Conservation Trust have a wealth of advice on how to garden for bats, including a list of suitable plants and when they flower, http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/encouraging_bats.html and http://www.bats.org.uk/publications_detail.php/231/encouraging_bats.
Tees Valley Wildlife Trust can also offer advice on wildlife gardening, with an excellent section on encouraging nocturnal wildlife, http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-gardening/nocturnal-gardening
Once you have planted your wildlife garden, sit out on a warm evening on enjoy the wildlife around you!
If you want to know more about the bats that visit your garden the BatScape project may be for you, http://www.teeswildlife.org/what-we-do/safeguarding-wildlife-and-the-natural-environment/cleveland-batscape/