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How to spot bats in your belfry

24 June 2014

Islanders with an interest in helping to protect Jersey’s bats are invited to a workshop organised by the Department of the Environment and the Jersey Bat Group.

The workshop, which includes talks and training, will help people learn how to survey bat roosts in local buildings to record and learn more about where they roost.

Long eared, common pipistrelle and serotine

Jersey is lucky enough to have more than 11 recorded species of bats. The most commonly found bat species is the common pipistrelle, but the Island also has long eared bats and serotines.

Volunteers from the Jersey Bat Group and the Department of the Environment record information on bats by making ‘exit counts’ – watching and counting bats as they leave their roost around dusk.  Where possible, they identify species using special equipment that translates the bats' ultrasonic calls into sounds a human ear can hear. 

Bat signs

Volunteers are trying to visit roosts that have been recorded in the past to see if the bats are still using them, and are also keen to find new roosts not currently on record. They want to hear from people who think they may have bats on their property. Signs include:

  • tiny droppings on window ledges or stuck on the side of walls
  • bats seen emerging from gaps in the property such as from under ridge tiles, or from under fascia boards
  • clear, cobweb-free gaps under fascia boards.

It’s an important time of year for bats as females will have recently gathered in their ‘maternity roost’ to have their single ‘pup’. They are usually loyal to old successful roost sites, often for generations.

Eat 3000 mosquitoes a night

Chair of the Jersey Bat Group, Nicky Brown said “Bats are an amazing and vital part of our wildlife, providing a valuable service to our environment; a single pipistrelle can eat 3000 mosquitoes or midges a night.

“But if we’re to continue to conserve the many different species we’re home to, it’s crucial that we continue to monitor their population and raise awareness of their needs. For that, we really do rely on the good will and knowledge of volunteers. If you think you might be interested in knowing more, or helping us with our summer surveys please sign up for the training day, and consider joining the Jersey Bat Group.”

More information

The workshop is open to anyone interested in learning more about bats and who want to get involved helping with the summer surveys. It is being held at Durrell Conservation Academy on 5 July between 2 pm and 8 pm. If you would like to attend, please reserve a place by contacting Nina Cornish on 441624 or by email:

If you think you may have bats on your property, or you would like more information on the bat group or the summer surveys please contact Nicky Brown at or David Tipping at or on 441623.

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