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
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
data 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
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 Tinytag Explorer software is very
easy to use."