Monday, 9 May 2011

Bat Surveys are often Measures Taken to Save Lives of Bats

Bats - the only flying mammal - are legally protected in the United Kingdom under section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and regulation 39 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) (Amendment) Regulations 2007. The reason is there is a significant decline in the number of bats in recent times, and therefore it was necessary to pass the legislation to protect them. Therefore, whenever there is a situation when survival of bats is at stake, bat surveys need to be carried out by professional environmental consultancy. In the United Kingdom, it is indeed a crime if:
  • A bat has been killed, captured or injured intentionally
  • A deliberate disturbance or harassment meted out to a bat or group of bats
  • A damage or deliberate destruction to the roosts of the bats even though unoccupied
  • Sell, possession, advertisement of dead or alive bat or any of its body part
  • Intentional or reckless impediment caused to bat to access its roost
If anybody in United Kingdom is found guilty of doing above-mentioned conditions, he has to go through legislative process. Now, bat surveys are undertaken when any development is coming in the way of bat habitat. The places that can have impact of such development may include woodland edges, hedgerows and canals. Also, in case of cutting down old trees on which bats may be residing, bat surveys are needed. However, it is not always necessary to have a license to carry out bat survey. But, inspite of this, the help of professional environmental consultancy is very much required. Also, if the survey includes some element of disturbing the bat habitats, it is likely that the consultancy would require Natural England license. There are however, many methods to carry out the survey, one being inspection from the ground. But, the view from the ground does not necessarily confirm either the presence or the absence of the bats. In this case, either climbing the trees or having an aerial view of the bat habitat prove to be effective ways of executing bat surveys.