Why care about Bats?
Bats are an ‘indicator species’. They can tell us a lot about the state of our environment as they are a top predator for nocturnal insects. Bats will be affected by changes in landscape, agriculture practises, development and habitat fragmentation. These changes will have an impact on many species in Guernsey but by surveying the changes in bat populations, it will indicate the wider health of our wildlife, without having to count every species.
Bats are a natural form of pest control, eating thousands of insects each night – including mosquitos! They are great for keeping bugs away from crops which provides a valuable service for agriculture and even your own vegetable patch. Bats provide this service free of charge, and without the use of pesticides.
Bats are protected under the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS) which came into force in 1994. By signing up to this agreement, Guernsey has committed to protect bats through monitoring, legislation, education, conservation measures and international co-operation. Many European bats are under threat and some have even become extinct in certain countries. It is important we monitor our bats, to understand how we can help populations to thrive.