Preparing for swarming season

One month to go before swarming season is on us again. I’m looking forward to using the UltraMic250k this year to record swarming myotis species at some of my study sites.

Here’s some light readng for anyone interested in the use of underground sites by bats for swarming.

The Ecology and Conservation of Cave Roosting Bats in the Yorkshire Dales

Autumn swarming behaviour of Natterer’s bats in the UK

Cave selection and use by swarming bat species (you’ll need Athens for that one)

Swarming of bats at underground sites in Britain—implications for conservation

The role of swarming sites for maintaining gene flow in the brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus)

The effect of gates on cave entry by swarming bats

Swarming of Myotis mystacinus and other bat species at high elevation in the Tatra Mountains, southern Poland

High gene diversity at swarming sites suggest hot spots for gene flow in the endangered Bechstein’s bat

Host–parasite determinants of parasite population structure: lessons from bats and mites on the importance of time Swarming and mite dispersal

Late summer and autumn swarming of bats at Sikspārņu caves in Gauja National Park

Identification and characterization of swarming sites used by bats in Nova Scotia





Want to research bats underground?

Want to research bats underground? Here’s some sources of information on where to look in your area; a perfect spring and summer activity to get prepped for swarming and hibernation seasons.

A word of caution: You need to be licenced to survey hibernation sites. You need to be competent and aware of dangers working underground. Cavers and Mine Explorers are sensitive to bat ‘issues’ so don’t go wading onto forums with requests for information of bats in caves and mines, a bit of diplomacy is called for.

A combination of the sites below should reveal sites you never realised were in your area. Why not approach the local caving group for a spot of joint working?

Yorkshire Dales Cave Maps:

UK Caving:

AditNow – Mine exploration:

Mine Explorer:

28DaysLater Urban Exploration:

Approach your local Sites and Ancient Monuments records team for any records of Ice Houses, Lime Kilns, etc.


Infra Red Camcorders as Bat Survey Tools.

LowePro open

Everything but the kitchen sink

One of the additions for 2012’s bat survey gear I’ll be carrying is a Sony HD camcorder and tripod. Having used nightvision for surveying for a couple of years now I realised that a camcorder and IR lighting rig was a better way forward after seeing Pat Waring’s set up both in use and the resulting films he’s captured.

I’ll post a research blog showing my set up and some example films as soon as it warms enough for me to get out and do some filming.