Local conservation charity Devon Wildlife Trust is calling on people in Devon to help discover more about the counties bats. 

The Devon Bat Survey now in its ninth year, is believed to be one of the largest citizen science projects in the country and has already collected more than 1.3 million bat records. 

The 2024 survey began on Tuesday, May 7, and the charity hopes to recruit volunteer bat detectives to participate. 

No previous experience in bat detecting is necessary. Instead, participants need to agree to host a small electronic bat detector in their garden for three consecutive nights. 

The detectors then record ultrasonic signals made by the bats as they navigate the dark during their nighttime flights.  

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Lindsay Mahon coordinates the bat survey as part of her work for Saving Devon’s Treescapes project. Lindsay said:

“Last year our volunteer bat detectives recorded more than 350,000 bat passes – that is, records of bats flying by. Many of these were common kinds of bats such as pipistrelles, but the surveys also turned up several rarities including threatened greater horseshoe bats.

The results of the bat survey provide us with an invaluable insight into the habits of these fascinating animals. We use its results to help direct our work to where it’s needed most – protecting the homes and feeding grounds of Devon’s bat populations.”

The closest centre in the South Hams is Avon Mill Garden Centre, Loddiswell, South Devon for more information and a full list visit: https://tinyurl.com/4e8r2y4z