Leisler’s bat Nyctalus leisleri, Nathusius’, Pipistrelle




Дата канвертавання24.04.2016
Памер73.9 Kb.
Lough Neagh Wetlands

Bats

Daubenton’s bat Myotis daubentionii, Leisler’s bat Nyctalus leisleri, Nathusius’, Pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii, Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Soprano Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus, Brown Long-eared bat Plecotus auritus, Whiskered bat Myotismystacinus, Natterer’s bat Myotis nattereri
Species Action Plan

2008 - 2013

Bats in the Lough Neagh Wetlands
Introduction

Bats are nocturnal mammals which, in Ireland, only eat insects. This plan covers the needs of all 8 bats found in Northern Ireland, and subsequently recorded or suspected of being present in the Lough Neagh Wetlands. Records available from CEDaR confirm that the following species of bat have been recorded in the Lough Neagh Wetlands.



Background
Daubenton’s bat

Thought to be relatively common and fairly widespread, found on most rivers and lakes, including Lough Neagh where it feeds over still water and roosts/hibernates in bridges, stone walls and tree holes. Current records are from the north-east and south-east areas of Lough Neagh. An important maternity roost is at Shanes Castle. There are very few records for the area apart from this; which highlights the need for more active surveying.


Leisler’s bat

Ireland is a European stronghold of this species where it is the third most common bat. The Northern Ireland population has been estimated at 18,000. It may be a migratory species in Ireland. The species is very mobile which makes it difficult to gauge their numbers and therefore the population of the Lough Neagh Wetlands is unknown, but experts estimate there to be a few hundred in the area. Exclusion from house roosting sites is probably one of the biggest threats to its population levels.


Nathusius’ pipistrelle

The first confirmed Irish breeding colony of this bat was discovered in May 1997. The Irish population may migrate within or from Ireland. Sites containing this species in Ireland, like those in the rest of Europe, are found close to water. They seem to be closely associated with Soprano pipistrelles and old stable blocks of country houses seem popular. This species has bred at a few sites in Antrim including Clotworthy House and Shanes Castle. It is considered rare in the UK.


Common pipistrelle

This is an abundant and widespread species.



Soprano pipistrelle

This is an abundant and widespread species which favours foraging near water.


Brown Long-eared bat

Found throughout Ireland and relatively common. The species tends not to roost in the average house so is probably under-recorded, preferring barn-like roof areas instead.


Other species that have been recorded in Northern Ireland, which may occur in the Lough Neagh Wetlands are:
Whiskered bat

Found throughout Ireland but as yet there are no known records for the Lough Neagh Wetlands. Associated with older houses and found foraging around lakes and in parklands.


Natterer’s bat

A widely distributed species, but with low population levels that prefers to roost in bridges, walls etc and does not normally favour the average roof space of houses. It has been recorded from the north-east corner of Lough Neagh around Antrim.


Brandt’s bat

Although not yet recorded in Northern Ireland, the Brandt’s bat (Myotis brandtii) is similar to the Whiskered bat and its requirements are such that it is likely to occur in here.



Threats
Loss of Roost Sites

Examples include repairs and renovations to bridges (especially over water) and to buildings, felling of trees or trimming of branches, and exclusion of bats from their houses.


Poisoning

The use of pesticides to remove wood boring insects from attics can result in direct bat mortality or the reduction of healthy reproductive condition in bats.


Loss of Foraging

Loss of adequate foraging habitat can arise from a change in land use, resulting in a loss of invertebrate habitat. Farmland may be affected by intensification of farming techniques, loss of diversity of crops, changes in types of grazing animals, draining land and filling in ponds. Rivers and streams may be affected by canalization to improve flow, removal of riverside vegetation to aid angling, and water quality due to polluting run-off from towns and farms. Hedgerows may be affected by removal to improve field size, or by road schemes or housing developments, and by being trimmed too low.


Mature trees are important for both roosting and foraging. The main threat to the value of these trees comes from trimming or felling of dead wood, for aesthetic purposes or for safety reasons. Woodland management may not favour mixed woodlands and realize the importance of deciduous trees for native wildlife. Clear felling can cause too much disruption in the woodland. Tall trees can be used as “signposts” to bats navigating through the landscape at night, as well as for roosting and as a foraging station.
Habitat Fragmentation

Habitat fragmentation is a major concern as bats rely on commuting routes through the landscape to link their varied seasonal habitat requirements.


Loss of Roosts

Decline of bats across Northern Ireland may be related to the widespread use of house roosts. Species, such as Leisler’s bat, may be noisy and like to move frequently between roosts and this makes them unpopular and therefore householders frequently apply for and are given permission to close the bats out of their roosts.



Opportunities
Creation and maintenance of feeding habitat

Tree-lines and mature well-managed hedgerows function as wildlife corridors, which provide cover and shelter between roost sites and foraging sites. Where possible, this habitat should be maintained or created.


Woodland managers should be approached to ensure dead wood is left on trees wherever possible. Bat conservation should be linked to the woodland management plan for each site.
Reduction of insecticide and herbicide use

The loss of food (invertebrates) is linked to the use of insecticides and indirectly to the use of herbicides. Where possible, aim to reduce or halt the use of these.


Provision of bat boxes

The provision of bat boxes seems to be under-developed in Northern Ireland, compared to the USA. Boxes here are made like those for birds but in the United States they make multi-chambered boxes to fit to farm buildings etc, using coloured materials to help regulate temperatures. Given that there are numerous exclusions taking place in Northern Ireland, this area could be significantly developed, and could perhaps include purpose built towers that house bats and other associated species such as barn owl and tree sparrow.


Water Quality

As water quality for streams, rivers and loughs is improved, links should be made to management plans of other species using waterways, such as otter and fish.


Legislation

All bat species are protected under the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC). They are listed on Annex IV, which requires that a system of strict protection be put in place to ensure their conservation. The Habitats Directive is transposed into Northern Ireland law in the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995. Bats are included in Schedule 2 of the Regulations which defines ‘European protected species of animals’.


Bats are also protected in Northern Ireland under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. This legislation makes it an offence to intentionally harm a bat or disturb its resting place.
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals 1979 (the Bonn Convention) places bat species in Appendix II, which recognizes that they would benefit from international co-operation regarding their conservation.
The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats

(EUROBATS) is an agreement under the Bonn Convention which aims to address threats to all 45 species of bat identified in Europe arising from habitat degradation, disturbance of roosting sites and harmful pesticides.


The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats

1979 (the Bern Convention) lists bats in Appendix II, bar Pipistrellus pipistrellus which is listed on Appendix III. The principal aim of the Convention is to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats, especially those species and habitats whose conservation requires the co-operation of several States.



Bats - Objectives & Targets































Objectives & Targets


































OBJECTIVE










TARGET



















B/01

Map the location of all KNOWN bat roosts found to date in the Lough Neagh Wetlands





2008



















B/02

Maintain bat roosts found in the Lough Neagh Wetlands








2010



















B/03

Create new bat roosts in the Lough Neagh Wetlands











2013



















B/04

Protect foraging areas within areas of known bat roost sites











2013



















B/05

Raise awareness of the habitat requirements of the bats in Northern Ireland









2013

Bats - Action

















































Actions





































ACTION

LEAD PARTNER

PARTNERS

TO BE ACHIEVED BY 31st Dec:

OBJECTIVES MET

B/A1

Introduce new bat features to bridges along major rivers within the Lough Neagh Wetlands

LNP

EHS / LNAC / Rivers Agency / UWT / NI Nat Group / CBC

2010

B/03

B/A2

Design and build 1 bat tower to house bats (and other associated species such as barn owl, tree sparrows) on farmland in the Lough Neagh Wetlands

LNP

EHS / LNAC / UWT / NI Nat Group

2010

N/03

B/A3

Install 30 multi-chambered bat boxes, made from coloured materials that help regulate temperatures

LNP

EHS / LNAC / UWT / NI Nat Group / CBC

2010

B/03

B/A4

Initiate a programme in the Lough Neagh Wetlands that involves roost owners in the monitoring of their bat colony

EHS

LNAC / LNP / UWT / NI Bat Group / CBC

2010

B/02 / B/05

B/A5

Promote the uptake of volunteer bat surveys, including the Daubenton's Bat Survey which takes place along rivers in the Lough Neagh Wetlands each year.

LNP

EHS / LNP / UWT / NI Bat Group / CBC

2010

B/01 / B/05

B/A6

Produce advisory material to ensure that roofing and timber treatment companies operating in the Lough Neagh Wetlands are well informed about the bat species that use buildings, and offer training where required

LNAC

EHS / LNP / UWT / NI Bat Group / CBC

2010

B/02 / B/05

B/A7

Produce advisory material that ensures local planners are aware of the requirements of all bat species known to be present in the Lough Neagh Wetlands

LNAC

EHS / UWT / Planning Service / LNP / NI Bat Group / CBC

2010

B/02 /B/05

B/A8

Produce advisory material for planners and developers that ensures that adequate surveys are undertaken prior to planning permission being granted for developments that might affect roosts and foraging areas, and that there is suitable mitigation/compensation for all planning proposals which affect, or potentially affect, bats in the wetlands and that these are adhered to. Advisory material should ensure that developers are asked prepare a report on their actions.

LNAC

EHS / LNP / Planning Service / NI Bat Group / CBC

2013

B/02 / B/04

B/A9

Ensure that all bat records are stored on the LNW GIS and at CEDAR

LNAC

EHS / LNP / UWT / NI Bat Group / CBC

2013

B/01

B/A10

Encourage public participation in the reporting of bat roosts and the conservation of bats through publicity campaigns, workshops and events

LNAC

EHS / LNP / UWT / NI Bat Group / CBC

2013

B/01 / B/05

B/A11

Raise awareness, on an annual basis, among agri-environment scheme advisors of the need to promote the take-up of agri-environment options that benefit bats

LNAC

DARD / EHS / LNP / UWT / NI Bat Group

2013

B/05

B/A12

Organise 1 training course per year to recruit and train people to take part in bat surveys in the Lough Neagh Wetlands and maintain current licensing procedures for bat workers. Aim to train up to 5 new bat workers for the Lough Neagh Wetlands.

LNP

EHS / LNAC / UWT / NI Nat Group / CBC

2013

B/05

B/A13

Write 1 article per year to ensure that a wide range of stakeholders are aware of the habitat requirements of bats using buildings, trees, bridges and other structures in the wetlands. This should include raising awareness of the law and the need to seek expert advice before embarking on any renovation work on buildings that may be used as roost or hibernation sites

LNAC

DARD / EHS / LNP / UWT / NI Bat Group / CBC

2013

B/05



Lough Neagh Wetlands Bats Species Action Plan


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