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This project aims to develop and trial a national citizen science field survey scheme and species distribution modelling framework for UK woodland bats.

©Hugh Clark, Bat Conservation Trust

Research objectives

We are working with the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) to:

  • Develop a habitat suitability modelling framework for mapping British woodland bat species distributions and predicting the impact of land use and climate changes.
  • Improve our understanding of the ecological and human factors driving woodland bat species distributions at local, regional and national scales.
  • Pilot an acoustic survey method for monitoring bats in woodlands with volunteers.
  • Inform and update guidance to those involved in woodland and forest management and creation.

Findings and Recommendations

We developed an easily-implemented framework for multi-level, multi-scale habitat suitability modelling, which we used to predict the distribution of woodland bat species across Britain. The improved accuracy and ecological inference provided by our approach is demonstrated using the lesser horseshoe bat in an open access paper: The resulting predictive maps and associated R code are available via an online repository:

Publications/document titles and filenames:

End of project report to Scottish Forestry Trust:

Bellamy, C., Boughey, K., Hawkins, C. et al. A sequential multi-level framework to improve habitat suitability modelling. Landscape Ecol (2020).

What's of interest

Bat Conservation Trust