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West Weald Landscape Project Conference: Barbastelle bat 2014
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West Weald Landscape Project Conference: Barbastelle bat 2014

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Presentation from West Weald Landscape Project Conference 22 May 2014

Presentation from West Weald Landscape Project Conference 22 May 2014

Published in: Environment, Sports, Technology

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  • DITTO
  • TO SIMPLIFY WITHIN METHODS
  • AS IMAGE WITH RESULTS TEXT
  • = KEY FINDINGS
  • WILL NEED SOMETHING LIKE THIS FROM BUTCHERLAND ESPECIALLY IN THE LATTER APPLIED CONSERVATION BIT OF THE TALK
  • TEXT REF IN CONCLUSIONS SLIDE PERHAPS
  • AAAH!
  • Transcript

    • 1. Barbastelle Bats as a flagship species in landscape ecology Graeme Lyons (summarising work by Frank Greenaway and Rich Howorth)
    • 2. Photographs © Frank Greenaway • Rare (Near Threatened), BAP and heavily protected • Complex ecology enables them to act as an effective indicator of habitat quality at the scale of the West Weald landscape Barbastelle Bat - a flagship species for landscape conservation Barbastella barbastellus
    • 3. Ferengi
    • 4. • Roost in old-growth woodland with abundant damage & decay Barbastelle Bat ecology
    • 5. Barbastelle Bat ecology • Forage for nocturnal flying insects (including micro- moths) in wetland fringes, damp grasslands & wet woodlands
    • 6. • Bats studied since 1990s at Ebernoe Common SAC Barbastelle Bat ecology Long-term study
    • 7. Flightline connectivity • Commutes out along linear flight lines of woodlands, dense hedgerows and wooded river courses • Aversion to large gaps close to roost woods evident
    • 8. Ecological Networks of Ebernoe Barbastelles (1998) Blue - good flightline Red - unsuitable flightline habitat (break in cover) Yellow - historic route, no longer used Barbastelle Bat flightlines from Ebernoe:
    • 9. Barbastelle research - Methods • Studies at both The Mens and Ebernoe Common SACs in 2008: a new baseline survey and re- survey after 10 years respectively • Individual Barbastelle Bats were sequentially caught and ringed • Selected breeding females were radio-tagged and tracked to identify roosts, flightlines and forage areas • Roost counts were also made at the time of evening emergence to assess colony size & structure
    • 10. • Point data, directly derived from field bearings and observations. • Ranging data. Computer-generated Minimum Convex Polygons (MCPs). • Foraging data. Computer-generated 50% activity forage-area kernels. Barbastelle research - Data & Analysis
    • 11. 41 Barbastelles trapped, 18 tagged 17 tree roosts identified Population minimum of 80 females At least 4 different sub groups 8 flightlines – all to the East 50%-activity forage-area kernels averaged 31% of the MCP area Results for the Mens SAC
    • 12. Barbastelles of The Mens SAC
    • 13. 55 Barbastelles trapped, 20 tagged 27 tree roosts identified Population minimum of 64 females At least 3 different sub groups 6 flightlines – varying directions 50%-activity forage-area kernels averaged 23% of the MCP area Results for Ebernoe Common SAC
    • 14. Barbastelles of Ebernoe Common SAC
    • 15. The Mens Ebernoe Landscape Overview
    • 16. Results – MCPs & Forage Kernels
    • 17. • Travelled shorter distances. • Ranged over smaller areas. • Used smaller forage areas. At Ebernoe Common in 2008 there were twice as many Barbastelles as 10 years earlier, but they: Results – Ebernoe Forage Areas 1998 vs. 2008
    • 18. Mean characteristics of Barbastelle populations for The Mens SAC (2008) and Ebernoe Common SAC (2008 re-survey and 1998-99 original survey) Max distance travelled (& range) (km) 50% forage kernel area (& range) (ha) Total MCP ranging activity area (& range) (ha) Minimum number of breeding female bats The Mens 2008 (n = 18) 7.1 (2.6-12.2) 379.8 (61.3-1152.2) 1235.7 (260.2-2928.0) 80 Ebernoe 2008 (n = 20) 5.2 (1.2-10.5) 178.2 (20.9-368.3) 779.5 (45.1-2521.0) 64 Ebernoe 1998- 1999 (n = 19) 7.1 (4.5-17.8) 325.9 (14.4-1146.0) 1243.9 (41.2-4575.3) 29
    • 19. • Estimated population is 200 & 250 bats at Ebernoe and The Mens respectively. •445 km2 covered by these. • A strong dependence on woody flightlines. • A seasonal dependence on exclusive forage areas. • In 2008, Ebernoe Barbastelles showed more favourable population characteristics than The Mens population. •The reduced size and closer proximity of forage areas around Ebernoe in 2008, indicates that insects are more locally available Overview of Bat Research Findings
    • 20. We can attribute the positive changes of the Ebernoe Barbastelle population over the last ten years to a combination of: • New habitat creation nearby • Less intensive land use • Targeted reserve management • Greater integrity of ecological corridors Landscape improvements around Ebernoe
    • 21. 001 Butcherland flightline structure and management. • A mosaic of grassland and scrub developing on 60 ha of ex-arable fields since 2001, under an extensive grazing regime. • Particularly beneficial to Barbastelles, as evidenced by the improved flightline cover and extensive commuting and foraging activity recorded there. Butcherlands
    • 22. 2001Butcherlands 2001
    • 23. 2013Butcherlands 2013
    • 24. Butcherlands 2005 Butcherlands 2005
    • 25. Butcherlands 2011 Butcherlands 2011
    • 26. 2005 Butcherlands 2005
    • 27. 2011 Butcherlands 2011
    • 28. • 1181.7 saplings/ha • 52.2 hawthorns/ha • 414.9 oaks/ha • 25,000 oaks at Butcherlands! Regeneration at Butcherlands
    • 29. •The Barbastelle Bat serves as an excellent flagship species for landscape scale conservation. • Targeted conservation measures for Barbastelles are likely to benefit other wildlife. • Barbastelles also act as a good specific focal species for habitat condition and connectivity - spanning woodland, grassland and wetland BAP priority habitats. •The species is interesting, unusual and charismatic and draws funding and media attention. • However, caution should be used in using the Barbastelle as an ‘indicator species’ for other taxa, unless this is supported by a strong evidence base. • This research is helping to steer sensitive spatial planning through the Local Development Framework and can support WFD implementation. • A programme of further research and periodic monitoring is in place to support ongoing conservation enhancements to the ecological networks identified. General Conclusions
    • 30. Acknowledgements: •Funding of bat research by BBC Wildlife Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Chichester District Council •Bat licensing by Natural England •Local Landowners for access and allowing ecological enhancements •Frank Greenaway for all bat images •Sussex Wildlife Trust for other images •Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre for additional mapping