Scilly’s Bats Living Differently From Their Mainland Cousins

Lisa Worledge from the Bat Conservation Trust

Lisa Worledge from the Bat Conservation Trust

Bats on Scilly could be behaving in very different ways to those on the mainland.

That’s the conclusion of Lisa Worledge from the Bat Conservation Trust, who gave a talk at the St Mary’s Church pavilion yesterday afternoon.

Lisa described Scilly as “very special” saying that our local bats seem to use the varied habitats here in very different ways.

She says researchers recently found bats roosting in pine trees, which was very unusual.

And because of our mild climate, there’s uncertainty about whether bats here hibernate in winter in the same way as they do on the mainland.

Lisa is working with our local Bat Group to get more information about the local colonies.

From Radio Scilly

Lisa Worledge from the Bat Conservation Trust talks to Radio Scilly

She says they’re carrying out research into whether bats feed on the shoreline at dusk.

The group have handed out cards to people attending the bat walks asking them to report any sightings of the mammals near the water in the evening.

They’re also looking to see if beach insects turn up in the bats’ droppings.

Lisa says the work could be of national importance because it could show that the strand line is an important habitat for them.

While our bat colonies seem healthy, Lisa says they’re not very diverse, probably because of the distance from the mainland.

We mainly have common pipistrelles in Scilly, but every so often a rare species turns up.

A couple of years ago pregnant brown long-eared bat was discovered near Old Town and she says other interesting bats could be hiding out on the off-islands.

Lisa praised the work of the local Bat group, saying that the membership, which currently stands at 30, is excellent for such a small community.

Her own group in the West midlands only has around 60 members.

And she says it’s encouraging to see so many visitors attending the monthly walks. On Tuesday night, there were people from Germany, Russia and the Czech Republic, which, she says, shows that the work of the group is reaching far beyond Scilly.



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