Twelve gifts of Christmas

Detectors to monitor bat populations

Bats play a vital part in our ecosystem and all 18 bat species found in the UK are top predators of nocturnal insects. Bats are like flying pest controllers and we’re incredibly lucky to have several species on our farms. Monitoring their numbers and wellbeing tells us a lot about the general health of our environment and we like to share how important they are with our local community as part of our education and outreach programme.

A set of 15 bat detectors are required so that we can send people out to discover our bats, learn about them and support the monitoring team.

Bats play an important role in maintaining ecosystem health by controlling insect numbers. However, their populations face numerous threats including habitat loss, climate change, and disease.

Bats are skilled nocturnal hunters, relying on a remarkable sensory system known as echolocation to find their prey. These extraordinary creatures emit high-frequency calls at a pitch typically beyond the range of human hearing – so specialist bat detectors are needed to pick up these calls and identify which species are present. Using detectors we can monitor the species on our farms, and our event leaders can share this knowledge with visitors.

How the CRT can help

Bat detectors convert the ultrasonic calls of bats into audible sounds that can be heard by humans. This technology enables us to hear and identify these cryptic creatures as they fly nearby. By making the typically inaudible world of bat echolocation accessible, bat detectors greatly enhance our ability to appreciate and study these remarkable animals in their natural habitats.

Each bat species emits frequency call characteristics linked to their size, flight, environment, behaviour and prey. Bat detectors allow users to identify the different species by listening to their calls.

Buying bat detectors will have three main benefits for the CRT:

  • Increase understanding: to gain valuable insights into bat species diversity, population trends, and activity patterns in our region.
  • Habitat protection: to inform our habitat preservation efforts by identifying critical bat foraging and roosting areas.
  • Educational outreach: to engage communities through educational programmes and raise awareness about the importance of bat conservation.

How you can help

Each heterodyne type bat detector costs £100 and we require 15 to support our education and engagement activities.

Please select a donation amount (required)

Your donation is being made to the CRT's Twelve Gifts of Christmas fund. The CRT will endeavour to put your donation towards the appeal you select, but the funds will be prioritised according to the greatest need. The CRT will try to ensure that all the items within the 12 appeals are purchased, but if an appeal's target is not met or exceeded the funds could be diverted to another appeal to achieve the greatest benefit for wildlife and people on our farms.

12 Gifts of Christmas

Wildlife blog: Bats on the rise