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Tinytag Temperature Loggers Monitor Bat Roosts

Tinytag data loggers are being used to record the temperature of bat roosts to help investigate their roosting requirements.

The objective of the temperature monitoring in a colony of Natterer’s bats is to discover more about the conditions found in natural habitats, with a view to providing suitable artificial units.

Bats are among the most fascinating British wild animals, but during the last century populations suffered severe declines. Many groups and individuals are working to secure the future of bats, and ongoing research is a part of this process.

Two independent bat workers, Brian and Patty Briggs, have been using Tinytag data loggers to monitor a colony of bats for many years in a listed timber framed barn which was restored in 1987. The objective of the monitoring is to investigate the roosting requirements of a colony of Natterer's bats that use many roosting sites within the same building. The aim is to discover if artificial roost sites can mimic the conditions found in the natural roosting sites, and to see if the bats will use artificial units.

The researchers are using two Tinytag Plus 2 temperature loggers with probes that go inside two different mortise joints in the barn that the bats use throughout the summer. Subtle temperature fluctuations within the mortise joints allow a fairly accurate inference of bat usage on an hourly basis. It is possible to tell when the bats leave to feed and return to the roost.

Two loggers set on top of a tie beam within the barn also record ambient temperature and humidity. The results of the monitoring will be used in ongoing work to design and trial an artificial unit: a large, multi-chambered heated bat box with internal video monitoring using infra red light.

Other Bat Groups have previously used Tinytag data loggers, and they have been found to be safe to use within a bat roost.

Bat researcher Patty Briggs comments, "Gemini has always been extremely helpful in giving advice on the use of Tinytag data loggers in different projects. The recordings we have taken have allowed us to make extremely useful comparisons of data day to day and year to year, and the software is very easy to use."

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