Help to survey Daubentons Bats this summer

Monaghan County Council, in association with Bat Conservation Ireland, are organising a training workshop in the detection of Daubenton’s bat, with a view to training volunteers to carry out a survey of their area as part of the National Daubentons Bat Survey in August. There has never been a report submitted to the national survey from Co Monaghan, so this year we’re going all out to change that.

The training will take place on Tuesday evening, July 8th. It will start with a presentation on bats and how to detect them in the YWCA on the North Road, Monaghan at 8.30pm. This will be followed by a site visit to one of the lakes in Rossmore Forest Park under the cover of darkness, to observe the bats as they fly low over the water, hunting for insects, and learn how to use a bat detector to carry out a survey.

The National Daubenton’s Bat Survey will take place in August. All that is asked is that the volunteers take a 1km stretch of river, and stop every 100m along it and watch the water for bats for 2 minutes before moving on another 100m and repeating the process. You will be asked to carry out the survey on two nights – one in early August and one later in the month.

There are 7 species of bat in Ireland, and as the only airborne predator of insects at night, they form a very important part of the eco-system. Without them, we’d be over-run with midges!! The Daubenton’s bat feeds exclusively over water, flying so low as to skim the surface. They have even been spotted swimming – presumably as the result of a misjudged swoop! They’re also a good indicator of the quality of the water they fly over, and their presence is a very welcome sight to ecologists.

Participating in the survey will only take an hour and can be done by a group of people. The presence of humans doesn’t disturb the bats, so feel free to make a midnight stroll of it with some friends, and do a little good along the way.

The training on the 8th July is FREE and is open to everyone. If you decide to carry out a survey, you will be supplied with a bat detector.

More information: Carol Lambe, Monaghan County Council clambe@monaghancoco.ie

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