Welcome to vnonline.co.uk

vnonline.co.uk provides the veterinary nursing profession with the latest news and industry developments, as well as events, resources, learning materials and careers.

Our website is dedicated to veterinary nurses and we strive to provide a platform where you can voice and explore your interests.

Not a member yet? Sign up for free!

Register for free with vnonline.co.uk to gain unlimited access to news, resources, jobs and much more!

Click here to become a member

Log in to vnonline

Forgot your password?

Posted: 11th June 2024

Bat monitoring report reveals concerning trends
Natterer's bat numbers have levelled in both England and Wales.
Two iconic species have declined in the past five years.

Data collected as part of the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) has highlighted concerning trends for two species of bat in the UK.

The recently published NBMP report for 2023 revealed that both the brown long-eared bat and the lesser horseshoe bat had seen population declines in the past five years.

Findings from summer roosts showed that the number of brown long-eared bats dropped by 11.2 per cent on a UK scale. Meanwhile lesser horseshoe bats declined by 12.3 per cent in England, despite a continued increase in Wales.

The five-year population trends also revealed changes for the Natterer’s bat, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle. Despite previously increasing long-term trends, there are signs these could be levelling off and stabilising.

These changes were witnessed in the Natterer’s bat and common pipistrelle in England, the Natterer’s bat in Wales and the soprano pipistrelle in Scotland.

This is the first time the NBMP data has examined trends over the shorter period of five years. However, the long term statistics also revealed some positive news for the UK’s bat populations.

Out of the population trends for 11 of the UK’s 17 breeding bat species, none of them had declined. Five species had displayed encouraging signs of recovery from historical declines.

Bat Conservation Trust, which led the NBMP, says that recent genetic analysis has revealed the scale of the historic declines. Research conducted in collaboration with University of Exeter revealed that the endangered barbastelle had declined by 99 per cent over several hundred years.

The trust says that there are few conservation stories where bat species had recovered. The exceptions were often UK species which had benefitted from legal protection and conservation.

Kit Stoner, CEO of Bat Conservation Trust, thanked the volunteers who had contributed to the monitoring programme.

She said: “Their efforts means that we can produce long-term trends for the 11 bat species we are able to monitor, and some of these species are showing early signs of recovery following historic declines.

“It is an encouraging sign that legal protection and conservation action are beginning to help their recovery. However, the short-trends over the last five years for some species are of concern and shows that we must remain vigilant.”

The full report can be found here.

Image © Shutterstock

Become a member
or log in to add this story to your CPD history