In 2016 the Cambridgeshire Bat Group signed up to the National Nathusius Pipistrelle Project, with the aim of confirming the presence of Nathusius Pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii within Cambridgeshire. As we were limited by available equipment and man power we didn’t go out a huge amount but we did catch this bat at several sites, most notably at RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes where we caught the first recorded female in the county.
During 2017 we continued to collect data from several areas, including sites surveyed in 2016 as well as many new sites, and we caught or recorded Nathusius at quite a few locations. The map below with the yellow circles on (if you look hard) shows the 12 locations we have visited over the last two seasons.
Out of the 12 sites we have visited so far, we’ve confirmed the presence of Nathusius Pipistrelle at 6 of them. A 50% success rate is not bad! RSPB Fen Drayton seems to be the Nathusius hotspot and we have trapped there several times this year. We caught a few more females and most exciting of all, a juvenile female. Another juvenile female came into care earlier this year after being found covered in adhesive and petrol (she’s doing just fine now), suggesting that they may be breeding within Cambridgeshire.
Next mission – find out where maternity roosts may be…
A 2016 blitz took place along the Kent and Suffolk coasts, where numerous Nathusius were caught and rung as part of the project. In 2017 it was the turn of East Anglia and some members of the Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire bat groups joined forces with Norfolk to help survey at Holkham Hall lakes and RSPB Titchwell. We didn’t catch or record any Nathusius at the latter site but out of the 9 bats we did catch, we had 8 different species so we were very happy with that!