What We Do
Dumfries and Galloway Bat Group has carried out surveys for local farms and houses but we do not undertake commercial bat surveys.
We attend events held by other wildlife organisations, offering activities for children and adults, bat talks and evening bat walks, as well as information and advice about bats and their roosts. We are always keen to give illustrated talks and bat walks to schools, scouts and guides as well as to adult groups such as the Scottish WRI, conservation clubs and organisations.
For bat walks we have bat detectors, purchased with grants from Scottish Natural Heritage, to listen to the echolocation calls of bats. Bat walks are great fun and, who knows, we may find new species of bats and new roosts.
The group puts up bat boxes in woodlands, an important job because in modern woodlands old trees, which have the sort of holes and crevices that bats like to live in, tend to be cut down, sometimes destroying a bat roost, or even killing bats in the process. Bats forage in conifer plantations but the trees lack holes and and are less favourable for bats. Bat boxes are monitored as often as possible, to check whether they are being used by bats and if so, by which species.
Members undertake surveys on behalf of the Bat Conservation Trust or other organisations, in order to monitor the population status of various species of bats.
If householders have problems with bats, we are able to give advice or practical help such as removing accumulations of bat droppings from a loft if the owner cannot do it .
Where people are unhappy about having a bat roost in their house, we aim to reassure them and promote more understanding and, hopefully, tolerance.
We have worked with other bat groups to check for hibernating bats in tunnels and mines, although Dumfries and Galloway does not have many such sites. Hibernacula can be investigated during the day but surveys happen at dusk and dawn - or overnight.
As most work is out in the evening or at dawn, bat workers have to be prepared to be out and about at ‘unsocial’ hours.