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Bats at the Cemetery Gates

  • 24 Jun 2008
  • Author: Paul Ivan

Over the next few months, with the help of John Altringham and his team from the University of Leeds, we are going to follow the journeys of the Daubenton’s Bats that live their lives along the river Wharfe in Yorkshire's Wharfedale.

Philippa spoke to John who's in a graveyard at Ilkley in the Yorkshire Dales, home to a roost of female Bats.

Daubentons Bat by John Altringham

Bats at the Cemetery Gates

John Altringham explains why several heavily pregnant bats have been moving around the Yorkshire Dales.

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You wouldn’t associate Bats with the cast of a soap opera but some of the nightime shenanigans in the cemetery aren’t too far removed.

The Bats, for most of the year live separate lives, living in separate roosts. The males are based upriver in the upper dale whilst the females are roosting 20 miles downriver in the local cemetery. John Altringham and his team want to know more about the movements of Bats between these two locations by attaching microchips to several individuals so that their movements can be tracked.

In our last report we met a decidedly cute and endearing male from the top of the dale, while John was attaching a tiny microchip that would allow us to log him in and out of the roosts. Would he and the other upper dale males trek the 20 miles or so down the valley to get together with the graveyard girls - the females whose nursery roost is in the cemetery at Ilkley?

The latest data that has been analysed shows that the female Bats have been moving between roosts in an attempt to find a location with suitable temperatures and, over the next few months, we will keep you updated with the comings and goings of these Bats through the cemetery gates at Ilkley.

Further Reading:

Last report: Tracking Daubenton's Bats

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