Bailiwick Bat survey finds several new species in Guernsey

The Bailiwick Bat Survey has identified five new species of bat across the islands. Credit: PA

A survey carried out in Guernsey into the local bat population has found five new species living in the Bailiwick.

Over 2,000 nights of recording took place across 611 different locations in the islands, providing the first in depth survey for bats in the Bailiwick.

This research is being carried out over a four-year project between the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the States of Guernsey's Agriculture, Countryside & Land Management Services (ACLMS),

The data collected revealed 11 species of bat, five small mammals and two audible moth species.

Five of the 11 species of bat had not been recorded previously in Guernsey, and included the Serotine, Whiskered or Brandt's bat, Leisler's bat, Common Noctule and Lesser Horseshoe bat.

The Serotine bat was also a new species for Alderney and Sark.

More than 200 volunteers collected 1.5 million sound recordings to be used as part of the survey.Sarah Allez, the Bailiwick Bat Survey Coordinator at La Société, said: "Undertaking such a large survey of the islands was only possible because of the large numbers of volunteers who put out detectors for us.

"The enthusiasm shown by volunteers has been amazing and the survey has really highlighted how some species rely on buildings for safe roosting areas and natural habitats for feeding."

Julia Henney, Biodiversity Officer at ACLMS, said: "Such a widescale survey has given us an insight into how this often overlooked group of nocturnal mammals uses Guernsey's built and natural environment.

"With three more years to go we will have a comprehensive understanding of the habitats that are important for all the bat species that occur in the islands."

The full report can be read here.