Noctule bat

The calls of five bat species were heard at Secrets

Five species of bat use Petersfield Heath for foraging.

At the end of a glorious day at Secrets of the Heath, Jane Willmott, from the Sussex Wildlife Trust, led a guided bat walk as the sun sank over the pond.

Using specialised bat detectors, Jane led a large group who listened to the vibrational frequencies of five different bat species. These ranged from the largest British bat, the Noctule, to the tiny Pipistrelle and Soprano pipistrelle. Water loving Daubenton’s bats were detected, as well as Serotine bats. Bats use echo-location to navigate their way. They also use this method to locate prey. You can listen to the bat ‘calls’ here.

The group was amazed at the markedly different behaviour of each species as they targeted their food source.

All bat species are fully protected by UK and European law. It is a criminal offence to harm or destroy a bat, or bat roosts or to damage bat habitats. On Petersfield Heath we welcome our nocturnal friends, which feed on gnats, midges, moths and mozzies.

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