Bat Related Projects

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Site in Clare

One of our latest projects was returning 104 bats that arrived into our care during December from a site in Co Clare. These bats were part of a colony that had been discovered during a dwelling renovation that had been taking place under licence from NPWS.

Unfortunately the bats were thought to have moved on to a winter roost site but, during the works, were discovered in the ceiling which had been removed. As the site was then found to be unsafe for the bats, we were contacted by a ranger for assistance who then transported the bats to our centre in Co Limerick to be cared for whilst we found a suitable site back at the property to relocate them to.

During the 4 weeks the bats were in our care, we had to keep them in a torpid state by ensuring the ambient temperature within the Centre was below 5 degrees. As a high percentage of the bats were female, it was important that they did not become active. This would run the risk of these bats starting an early pregnancy. This would have been detrimental to any pups born early in the wild. With a lack of insects to feed on in the winter months, females could not produce enough milk to feed their young, and freezing spring temperatures would lead to the death of the young which are born without fur.

All 104 bats were then ringed (a uniquely numbered split ring placed on the forearm) before returning to the site. This took Conor Kelleher and I 7.5 hours between ringing and recording the biometrics of each animal.

These records are submitted each year to NPWS as part of BRI’s project to study the longevity and movement of bats in Ireland.

During this time, 24 of the bats, which were thankfully all male, were found to be very underweight and a decision was made to keep these bats in a warm area allowing them to become active in order to hand-feed them for an extra two weeks to ensure they could put on some extra fat to see them through the colder months still ahead.

On returning to the site, I used an endoscope to assess the ceiling space of a stone building at the rear of the property for suitability. With plenty of space and a suitable hibernacula temperature, we placed the still torpid bats into the space. This was a huge project for us and a massive commitment from start to finish to ensure the very best care was provided for this colony of bats.

Thank you to Conor Kelleher for his time and expertise in the ringing of such a large number of bats. Also thank you to Bev Truss @ Hogsprickle for her assistance in returning the bats safely to the site.

All of the work was done by volunteers who give their time freely to the conservation and protection of Ireland’s wildlife.

The Heritage Council

A new bat flight for Bat Rehabilitation Ireland.

The new bat flight was funded under The Heritage Council’s Community Grant Scheme 2021. It is vital for the rehabilitation of bats as a safe and secure environment to build up flight strength before release.

Bat Flight
Bat flight

94 Bats in the AIB Bank, Blarney

94 bat pups had climbed into the AIB Bank in Blarney – (full story here).They had to be rehydrated and returned to their roost after spending 48 hours in care.  The local ranger went out to count the bats as they emerged from the roost in the roof of the building. This was to make sure that the mothers had not abandoned the pups. She was delighted to see the colony was still on site.

The site at which the bats were entering the inside of the building has now been temporarily sealed but the outer entrance and exit points are still open for the bats to safely enter and exit the roost.

The team at AIB Bank were inspirational in how they handled the situation.