Coventry & Warwickshire

Barbastelle bat project in Shipston-on-Stour hindered by thieves

A Barbastelle bat
Image caption The equipment was used to monitor Barbastelle bats

A bat conservation project in Warwickshire has suffered a setback after thieves stole specialist equipment worth thousands of pounds.

Two radio tracking receivers, worth £3,000 each, were taken from a locked container near Shipston-on-Stour.

They were being used to track bats, including the rare Barbastelle species.

Image caption The radio tracking receivers were taken from a locked container

Project officer Lois Browne, from Warwickshire County Council, said the equipment was "very important" to the completion of the two-year study.

'Error of ways'

"It was in a secure, locked container in the middle of a woodland and we suspect that opportunists thought they had found something valuable," she said.

"It's really of no use to anyone other than ecologists. Only people radio tracking animals would want to use it, so we've alerted the ecological community to the theft and we're also tracking various online auction sites.

"Hopefully whoever has taken it will realise the error of their ways and return the radio tracking receivers to us."

The equipment was stolen between 16 and 18 September.

The Warwickshire Barbastelle Project is a SITA trust funded scheme co-ordinated by Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Bat Group.

It is supported by The Bat Conservation Trust, Natural England and a team of volunteers.

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