Saving the Barbastelle bat
As part of the BBC series Saving Planet Earth comedian and presenter Rory McGrath went to Dorset to find out more about the endangered Barbastelle bat.
Southern England is a fantastic area of diverse landscapes but as with the rest of the British Isles it is presently experiencing, and will continue to experience, changes both natural and man made. This is going to affect, and sadly threaten, a number of our plants and animals.
The Barbastelle bat in an incredibly fast flyer, travelling at up to 40 miles per hour they travel great distances to reach their hunting grounds which are often many miles from their roosts.
In areas where there are no natural tree holes, bat boxes are vitally important. Bat boxes can be erected on trees and walls, so we can do our bit.
Be careful though, because bats and their roost sites are specifically protected by law.
This makes it very difficult for enthusiastic amateurs to become involved, but there are ways to help.
Local bat groups are on hand to advise and are always keen to hear of regular sightings and possible occupied roosts.
Through the use of modern radio tracking equipment, expert Ian Davidson-Watts is able to research the habits of the Barbastelle bat.
His research includes how many bats occupy a roost, what time they emerge and return and most importantly how far do they fly when hunting for food.
All this research provides information of great value in understanding this tiny creature and thus helping to conserve its chances of surviving.
last updated: 14/03/2008 at 15:50