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Nwicker60
12-May-11, 08:29
Bat-ting for Biodiversity in Far North



PEOPLE in Caithness and Sutherland are being invited to join a survey of bats in the north which is being organised by the Caithness and Sutherland Biodiversity Groups and Highland Councilís Countryside Rangers.
Very little is known about bats in the area and there are large gaps in records of bat numbers, roosting sites and even species of bats. It is for these reasons that the Caithness Biodiversity Group and Sutherland Biodiversity Group have joined forces to find out more.
Together they have produced a postcard to get as many people as possible involved in a bat survey. The card, which was designed by Caithness-based designer Julian Smith and incorporates the artwork of wildlife artist Lyn Wells from Sutherland, was funded by the Sutherland Environmental Fund.
The postcards are available at libraries, service points and tourist information centres throughout Caithness and Sutherland, and the public are invited to fill them out when they spot any bats in their area. The postcards are printed with, and can be sent Freepost to, The Highland Councilís Headquarters in Inverness.
All data received will be collated and passed on to the Bat Conservation Trust and published on the Highland Biodiversity Website.
Alternatively, anyone with information on bats in their area can contact their local Highland Council Countryside Ranger or contact: Dieter Tuerlinckx, Caithness East Ranger, Bruce Buildings, Sinclair Terrace, Wick KW1 5AB Tel/fax: (01955) 607758 E-mail: dieter.tuerlinckx@highland.gov.uk (dieter.tuerlinckx@highland.gov.uk) for contact details of your local ranger.
Dieter Tuerlinckx said: ďItís that time of year again where you go out at dusk and see something fluttering around out of the corner of your eye. Our little furry fliers are out of hibernation again and are in full swing looking for food to stock up on. At the moment the females are forming maternity colonies and are searching for suitable nursery sites to give birth to their young. The males will hang out in smaller groups or even on their own, but all will be looking for food.Ē
He added: ďPlease join us and see if you can find any bats. There is nothing more delightful than going out on a nice evening to see them in action, and take comfort in the fact that they are a huge help in keeping our dreaded midge populations at bay.Ē
Anyone interested in learning more about bats can join the rangers on some of their batty guided walks in the summer events programme. See the events programme on the Councilís website at: www.highland.gov.uk/countrysiderangerevents (http://www.highland.gov.uk/countrysiderangerevents.htm)
The Highland Councilís Countryside Rangers are part of the Councilís Planning and Development Service.