Highlands & Islands

British bats 'showing signs of recovery'

Pipistrelle Image copyright PA
Image caption The Bat Conservation Trust said the study highlights the benefits of citizen science

Populations of 10 British bat species are stable or increasing following previous years of decline, a new report has suggested.

The species included Daubenton's and Brandt's.

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) enlisted more than 3,500 volunteers to help with its National Bat Monitoring Programme.

The citizen science project collected data from 3,272 sites across Great Britain from 1997 to 2012.

In the report, the trust said the results revealed a "generally favourable picture" and "signs of recovery" for bats over the monitoring period.

The study did, however, generate different trends for Natterer's, serotine and pipistrelles.

The report added: "This study demonstrates that use of volunteer programmes can be successful in monitoring bat populations, provided that key features including standardised survey methods and volunteer training are incorporated.

"Some species that are more difficult to detect and identify may however require specialist surveillance techniques."

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