Bat mitigation: More than just winging it

December 07, 2020

Missed the webinar? Watch again below.


Event: Thursday 4 March, 12:30–13:15

In our next webinar, come and hang out with Paola Reason from RSK Biocensus, who will shed light on bats, those creatures of the night. Accounting for more than a quarter of mammal species in the UK, bats are fascinating, but often misunderstood creatures. In the UK, we have 18 species: from the almost lost and lonely greater mouse-eared bat to the widespread pipistrelle that is actually three species in one. They are mysterious not just because they are nocturnal, but also because they are difficult to study. We used to talk about ‘bats’: now we know that the species are much more complicated than that … and therein lies their charm.

There is currently a move towards landscape-scale conservation: bigger, better, more joined-up spaces for nature, which has to be a good thing. But we can’t ignore the fact that bats are almost unique in having a high reliance on man-made structures in which to live and breed. New ways of building and insulating houses tend to exclude bats, thereby making them vulnerable. The growth in artificial lighting at night affects many aspects of bats’ behaviour. Linear infrastructure fragments their habitat and can cause mortality.

Paola will explain some of the attributes that make bats important and will outline how we can best protect them through building back greener.

Paola is a Fellow of the CIEEM and is a member of various advisory groups, including Natural England’s bat expert panel and the CIEEM’s bat mitigation panel steering group (on both panels, alongside fellow Fellow Stephanie Wray). Paola has a particular interest in noise and how bats might be affected by it. She has worked on many large-scale projects including HS2 and Sizewell C nuclear new build.

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