Rare bat detected at Fenland wildlife centre

PUBLISHED: 13:18 03 September 2013 | UPDATED: 13:18 03 September 2013

One of the UK’s rarer bat species, the barbastelle, has been detected at WWT Welney Wetland Centre

One of the UK’s rarer bat species, the barbastelle, has been detected at WWT Welney Wetland Centre

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A RARE bat, the barbastelle, has been detected at WWT Welney Wetland Centre.

One of the UK’s rarer bat species, the barbastelle, has been detected at WWT Welney Wetland Centre One of the UK’s rarer bat species, the barbastelle, has been detected at WWT Welney Wetland Centre

Centre manager Leigh Marshall said: “This has been an exciting discovery for the team and brings the total species of bat recorded here to eight.”

Barbastelle bats have a distinctive pug-shaped nose and dark fur and wings. They have a wingspan of 26-29cm, a body length of 4-5cm and feed on small moths, flies and beetles.

Although the barbastelle is not a wetland specialist itself, it is able to feed on the wide abundance of insect species found on the reserve. ‘

Dr Stuart Newson, project manager for The Norfolk Bat Survey, said: “We suspect that like many species of bats, the barbastelle probably used to be far more common than it is now.

Bat monitoring stations have been set up to provide people with the equipment to take part in a simple exercise to help map the area’s bat species.

People living in the Welney, Downham Market, and Wisbech area are able to book out the equipment at the Wetland Centre and use this to collect recordings from their local patch. The recordings are then analysed by the Norfolk Bat Survey team and sent back to the volunteers, normally within a week of taking part.

CONTACT: http://www.batsurvey.org/

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