Professional Training Standards

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1 Bat Conservation Trust Professional Training Standards For Ecological Consultants First Edition 2012

2 Using the Professional Training Standards Who is this document aimed at? Individuals who are new to bat consultancy and training to work in this field Those assessing the competency of an individual working in this field Those who wish to check their knowledge and skills against these standards Those wishing to understand the skills and knowledge required to advance to the next level of experience How should this document be used? The Professional Training Standards are not intended to be used as a check list to gain a licence for surveying (from the relevant SNCO) and are not an accredited system. Rather the document is designed to raise standards in professional bat work and outline the knowledge (black text) and skills (red text) required to be a responsible consultant. The information provided here is an outline of what a professional consultant would be expected to know within each subject area. Readers are encouraged to use this document as a starting point of what they need to know or be able to do and use additional resources (e.g. reference material, training courses) and practical experience to gain the required experience and knowledge. These standards have been designed to complement BCT s Bat Surveys Good Practice Guidelines (2nd Edition). BCT s training courses for professionals can provide some of the knowledge and skills outlined in this document. Details about BCT s training courses and the aspects of the Professional Training Standards that they cover can be found in the document Achieving Professional Training Standards Through BCT Courses. Acknowledgements The Bat Conservation Trust would like to thank the following individuals who have been involved with the development of these standards. There have been various stages of this project from its conception and first drafts in 2002, to the rejuvenation and development of the project in The following individuals are acknowledged for their help and input at these various stages of the project. The initial 2002 panel Kit Stoner, Amy Coyte, Colin Catto, Brian Briggs, Phil Richardson, Tony Mitchell-Jones, Jean Matthews, Rob Raynor, Richard Green, Paul Racey and Nick Sibbett. Those individuals who commented on individual units at various draft stages; John Altringham, Patty Briggs, Pete Charleston, Terry Coult, Angela Graham, Roger Havard, Tony Hutson, Noel Jackson, Gareth Jones, John Martin, Shirley Martin, Heather McFarlane, Dan Merrett, Jan Ragg, Ed Santry, Peter Smith and Shirley Thompson. The panel Helen Miller, Kit Stoner, Brian Briggs, Peter Shepherd, Louise Mapstone, Judy Stroud, Katherine Walsh, Jean Matthews and Rob Raynor. Additional developers Sandie Sowler and Katie Parsons. Lisa Hundt for the development of key units and her additional overall comments and input. We would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Linda Yost of IEEM, Helen Ball and David Wells who all provided full comments on the document in its latter stages. The Professional Training Standards have been prepared by Helen Miller Bat Conservation Trust, Quadrant House, 250 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5RD Bat helpline: The Bat Conservation Trust (known as BCT) is a registered charity in England and Wales ( ) and in Scotland (SC040116). Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in England No: Cover photos: BCT, Anne Youngman, Hugh Clark, Louise Mapstone, Phil Briggs 2

3 Contents Introduction...4 Experience levels...5 Unit 1: Foundation knowledge Why conserve bats 1.2 Physiology 1.3 Life histories 1.4 Feeding 1.5 Roost sites Unit 2: Legislation, licensing and planning Legislation 2.2 Development planning 2.3 How we conserve bats 2.4 Licensing Unit 3: Preparation and planning of surveys Health and safety 3.2 Planning surveys Unit 4: Survey techniques and equipment Recording information 4.2 Activity surveys 4.3 Roost surveys 4.4 Catching bats 4.5 Marking bats Unit 5: Bat identification Bat identification visually and in the hand Unit 6: Interpreting data and assessing impacts Interpreting data and assessing impacts Unit 7: Mitigating for development impacts Man-made roost mitigation 7.2 Natural roosts and habitat mitigation 7.3 Post mitigation monitoring Unit 8: Bat handling Bat handling Unit 9: Communication skills Written 9.2 Verbal Further reading

4 Introduction The aim of the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) Professional Training Standards is to provide a set of standards of knowledge and skills for professional bat surveyors (consultants, ecologists, etc) relating to bat work in the UK. These standards cover the variety of work that a professional bat surveyor may be asked to do and outline the level of knowledge and skills expected of an individual to perform key tasks. A panel made up of BCT staff, voluntary bat workers, consultants and training experts has been involved with the development of this work. An additional advisory board has also provided comments as work has progressed. These standards have been compiled to provide an overview of both the knowledge and skills required to carry out bat work as a professional consultant. A distinction has been made between the knowledge required to understand a subject matter and the skills necessary to apply that knowledge. This provides greater clarity on how individuals can develop their knowledge and progress to a greater experience level. Experience levels Within professional bat work the level of responsibility that is expected of an individual will depend on their knowledge and experience. For example, those new to consultancy work may be expected to plan or carry out initial surveys to account for presence or the extent of activity within a site, but they would not be expected to devise appropriate mitigation. The work required for a European Protected Species (EPS) mitigation licence would be undertaken by a more experienced individual with the knowledge and skills required to assess the impacts and establish appropriate mitigation. As such the knowledge and skills needed to design surveys or apply for licences will build on and be in addition to those required to undertake initial survey work. With further skills and knowledge needed to use advanced survey techniques (where this type of work is relevant to a site/case). To recognise the different roles that individuals may have within professional bat work and the stages of a consultant s training/experience, three levels have been used. This illustrates different levels of complexity, assuming individuals would be competent in Level One before advancing to Level Two, and be competent in Level Two before advancing to Level Three. This allows each subject to cover information relevant for both beginners and experienced surveyors. We have taken account of this by using three experience levels within the document: Level One: To independently and competently undertake professional surveys involving bats Level Two: In addition to the above, to independently and competently lead survey teams/design surveys, assess impact and design mitigation Level Three: In addition to the above, to independently and competently undertake advanced survey techniques (e.g. trapping and marking) Please note: (1) The knowledge and skills detailed here go beyond that required to gain a licence for surveying from the relevant statutory nature conservation organisation (SNCO). This is because this document is intended to raise standards within professional bat work and encourage good practice hence the inclusion of non-licence topics such as communication. (2) The use of invasive survey equipment such as harp traps or mist nets within professional work requires further skills and understanding of these techniques and therefore may not be relevant to all those involved in professional bat work. Structure This document is divided into nine broad units that together cover all elements of bat work relevant to a professional consultant/ecologist. 1. Foundation knowledge 2. Legislation, licensing and planning 3. Preparation and planning surveys 4. Survey techniques and equipment 5. Bat identification 6. Interpreting data and assessing impacts 7. Mitigating for development impacts 8. Handling bats 9. Communications skills Within each unit the information is further divided into sections and headers to offer detailed information that an individual should know/be able to do to be competent in that area of work. 4

5 Experience levels To provide further clarification an overview of the three levels of experience is given below, please refer to the specific units written in brackets for details. Level One: To independently and competently undertake professional surveys involving bats an individual would normally be expected to possess the following: Level One: Knowledge A sound knowledge and understanding of: The legislation and the protection (and limits to protection) afforded to bats and how it is administered (Unit 2.1) The implications of bats' protected status for surveys in the UK countries (Unit 2.3 & 2.4) Species status, range, conservation and threats at the local, regional and national level (Unit 1.1 & 2.3) The life cycle of a bat including breeding and social behaviour (Unit 1.3) Feeding strategies used by different bat species (Unit 1.4) The physiology of UK bats including adaptations to flight, echolocation, torpor, hibernation and energetics (Unit 1.2) Species-specific and seasonal requirements of roosting bats and the various natural features and manmade structures used for roosting (Unit 1.5) The range of surveys that can be used to identify and study bats, and their limitations (Unit 3.2, 4.2 & 4.3) The current relevant guidance for surveying bats (Unit 3.2) Seasonality and conditions and how these might affect surveys (Unit 3.2) How bats are considered in the planning process, and the level of information required for this (Unit 2.2) Health and safety issues commonly associated with bat surveys (e.g. unsafe structures, working at night in urban areas) (Unit 3.1) The different techniques (and licence conditions) that may be required for different species (Unit 2.4, 4.3 & 4.4) Level One: Skills The skills and experience to be able to: Locate signs left by bats and use these to locate roosting position and give an indication of likely species of bat and type of roost (Unit 4.3) Identify safe techniques to survey different types of bat roosts and hibernacula for bats (Unit 4.2 & 4.3) Use a range of bat detectors to identify species or groups of species and record behaviour (Unit 4.2) Choose and use competently the correct equipment for the survey and recognise its limitations (Unit 4.2) Employ static detectors to complement manual activity survey techniques that identify species or groups of species, relative frequency, timing and type of bat use of a site (Unit 4.2) Record and understand survey effort and data required when surveying roost structures, underground sites, single roost trees in a wood and flight lines (Unit 4.1) Assess likely impacts of a proposed development at the scoping stage and design surveys using appropriate techniques and level of effort (Unit 3.2) Objectively assess the potential value of a building, tree or other structure/feature for use as a bat roost, according to standard guidelines (Unit 4.3) And if the individual s licence includes handling, they must be able to: Handle and transport a bat with due regard for a) its welfare and b) their safety (Unit 8.1) Recognise when handling is necessary and have an understanding of the sensitive periods when handling could cause the greatest stress (Unit 8.1) Identify a live bat in the hand to a likely species (with the exception of whiskered/brandt s/alcathoe) and confidently age, sex and assess the reproductive status of a bat (Unit 5.1) 5

6 Experience levels Level Two: In addition to Level One, to independently and competently lead survey teams/design surveys, assess impact and design mitigation; an individual would normally be expected to possess the following: Level Two: Knowledge A sound knowledge and understanding of: How to avoid and minimise negative impacts on bat roosts during development works (Unit 7.1 & 7.2) The conflicts of managing roosts within manmade structures (Unit 7.1) The issues associated with the management of roosts (Unit 7.1 & 7.2) The importance of monitoring bat populations (Unit 7.3) The principles underlying habitat management for bats and how to apply this knowledge to specific management recommendations and actions on the ground (Unit 7.2) Level Two: Skills The skills and experience to be able to: Analyse and interpret data to meet the objectives of the survey and identify habitats and roosts of key importance within a landscape (Unit 6.1) Quantify the potential impacts of a development (Unit 6.1) Identify the practical constraints in a survey, be able to recognise and articulate how these constraints affect the conclusions in the impact assessment (Unit 3.2 & 6.1) Design site- and species-specific schemes to fully mitigate for any negative impacts (Unit 7.1 & 7.2) Design and understand the importance of appropriate post-development monitoring (Unit 7.3) Produce clear and concise written reports (Unit 9.1) Communicate information and recommendations in verbal form (Unit 9.2) Level Three: In addition to Level One and Two, to independently and competently undertake advanced survey techniques (e.g. trapping and marking) an individual would normally be expected to possess the following: Level Three: Knowledge A sound knowledge and understanding of: Species-specific biology, ecology and behaviour (Unit 1.2, 1.3 & 1.4) The advanced survey techniques available and the necessary licences, equipment and experience required when selecting these methods (Unit 4.4 & 4.5) Level Three: Skills The skills and experience to be able to: Catch bats using harp traps and mist nets, including the advanced method of enhancing capture rate by the use of a sonic lure (Unit 4.4) Mark bats for later re-identification, including short and long-term methods and radio-tracking (Unit 4.5) 6

7 Unit 1: Foundation knowledge Unit contents: 1.1 Why conserve bats: Species status, range and threats at the local, regional and national level 1.2 Physiology: Physiology of UK bats including adaptations to flight, echolocation, torpor, hibernation and energetics 1.3 Life histories: The life cycle of bats including breeding and social behaviour in UK bats 1.4 Feeding: Feeding strategies used by different bat species 1.5 Roost sites: Roost selection throughout the year. Species-specific and seasonal requirements of roosting bats and the various natural features and man-made structures used for roosting Section Performance Criteria You must be able to: Knowledge and skills You must know and understand/you must be able to: Why conserve bats Explain why bats need to be protected Describe the differing geographical range of bats in the UK and the factors affecting range Recognise the differing geographical range of UK bats in Europe and the factors affecting range the reasons for bat decline in the UK the generic threats to all bats in the UK specific threats that relate to particular UK species the distribution ranges of all species in the UK the different factors that may affect range that different species in Europe have different ranges the different factors that may affect range 1.2 Physiology Describe adaptations to flight Explain bat energetics and torpor Explain echolocation simple aerodynamics how bats physical adaptations to flight differ from those of birds wing morphology species variations in wing shape according to foraging style wing loading and aspect ratio in relation to foraging style the problems experienced by a nocturnal flying mammal and the ways in which UK bats overcome these the energy costs of flight the meaning of torpor and hibernation, why they occur and the physiological changes observed adaptive heterothermy environmental conditions required by bats for successful hibernation species specific variations in environmental conditions for hibernation observed changes in hibernation patterns basic principles of echolocation and simple call terminology reasons for the use of echolocation and reasons for its success frequency modulated calls (FM) and constant frequency calls (CF) and awareness that many calls are more complex 7

8 Unit 1: Foundation knowledge Explain passive hearing and vision harmonics and their importance to bats adaptive variations in echolocation in response to environment and behaviour how the physics of sound operates on bat echolocation calls use of passive hearing and sight by some bat species 1.3 Life histories Describe the life cycle of a bat in the UK Describe mating strategies Explain the process of gestational delay strategies Explain what triggers breeding Explain the maternal cycle List the key phases in pup development Explain sexual maturity in bats Describe the optimum conditions needed for maternity roosts the generic annual life cycle of UK bats regional and species-specific differences in annual life cycles why mating strategies are necessary differences between mating strategies of different species groups different mating strategies in detail: - swarming behaviour - lekking behaviour - harems song flight swarming behaviour patterns in different species what gestational delay is and why it occurs sperm storage and why it occurs the physiological and environmental factors that trigger breeding gestation period length size and condition of pup at birth how birth is achieved mother-pup interactions and activities species differences in maternal cycles approximate dates of birth the age of young at first flight and weaning species differences in relation to birth dates, age at first flight and weaning approximate age of first mating in males and females species variations in age of sexual maturity optimum temperature and humidity for maternity roosts variations in maternity roost requirements between species where known 1.4 Feeding Explain the need of bats to feed Recall the types of food taken by bats Recall where most feeding takes place and recognise that certain species of bats have favourite feeding habitats linked to food or physical design Recall that bats produce a feeding buzz when attempting to catch some insects when and how often bats need to feed the difference between male and female feeding requirements and foraging behaviour the type of insects that bats feed on the effect of environmental factors on insect availability the insect species preference of some UK bats the importance of diverse habitats and insect density on bat activity levels the species closely linked to feeding in different habitats the number of feeding buzzes that determines a high catch rate why some insects may be caught with no feeding buzz 8

9 Unit 1: Foundation knowledge Recall the feeding techniques used by bats Describe changing feeding patterns of female bats from pregnancy to lactation the most common feeding strategies used species-specific feeding strategies variability of feeding locations and prey composition of female bats during the summer period species specific examples of changing feeding patterns from pregnancy to lactation 1.5 Roost sites Identify the different types and locations of bat roosts Explain roost composition Describe the use, role and conditions of underground sites Describe the use, role and conditions of trees as roosting sites Describe the use, role, design and effects of bat boxes Describe (with diagrams if necessary) built structures, their construction and usage the definition of a bat roost the different types of bat roosts the variety of roosting places and conditions required species specific year-round requirements for roosting identify structures with roosting potential the usual composition in terms of age and sex of a maternity roost natal philopatry displayed by most females post-natal dispersal of males in most species composition and location of other types of roosts species variations of maternity roost composition the variety of underground structures and sites available how these sites are used at different times of year the terminology used to describe parts of these natural features and manmade structures the factors that can affect conditions in underground sites the effect of the size and location of access holes on the species that use the site the places in a tree that bats may use to roost identify a tree to a likely species, and know the favoured tree species used by different bat species how natural roosting places develop in trees the locations topographically where trees are likely to have most damage the structure of trees and how trimming branches can affect splits lower down the species associated with particular features of a tree the role of bat boxes, particularly in woodlands the necessity of box maintenance the designs and construction of bat boxes for different species and different purposes how bats use boxes at different times of the year the most successful places to erect them in woodland the limitations of bat boxes as artificial roosts and their effects on rarer species the need for systematic monitoring of bat box schemes the role of internal bat boxes as part of mitigation building construction and the available spaces within a building s fabric that may be used by bats the difference in site selection of the common UK species the factors that may influence site selection the different types of use of a buildings by bats the types and locations of entry points used by bats the different materials that favour roosting 9

10 Unit 1: Foundation knowledge Describe artificial structures (other than buildings), their construction and use possible sites with potential for roosting bats e.g. bridges and high walls the construction and terminology used to describe these structures and how they are used by bats the species associated with particular artificial structures, particularly bridges 10

11 Unit 2: Legislation, licensing and planning Unit contents: 2.1 Legislation: The legislation and the protection (and limits to protection) afforded to bats and how it is administered 2.2 Development planning: How bats are considered in the planning process and the level of information required 2.3 How we conserve bats: How bat species are protected and conserved 2.4 Licensing: The licensing system in the UK and the specific licences required to undertake activities that would violate the protection afforded to bats Section Performance Criteria You must be able to: Knowledge and skills You must know and understand/you must be able to: Legislation Describe and apply the protection afforded to bats across the UK Explain the wider context of UK wildlife legislation concerning bats and related advice Explain related legislation and protection afforded to bats Explain how the law regarding bats is administered in the UK Explain enforcement procedures in the country in which the work is taking place the main protection afforded to bats and their roosts and the defences available under legislation the exceptions to bat and roost protection in the legislation the significance for those working in England, Wales and Northern Ireland of clauses in the legislation concerning bats in dwelling houses the differences in the legislation and their application in different parts of the UK, specifically in Scotland the application of the law to specific or novel situations and how the defences may apply the three tests under the Habitats Directive the relationship between UK domestic legislation and European legislation and international agreements/conventions the NERC Act and how the duty to have regard to biodiversity relates to the planning process the essential provisions/objectives of the EC Habitats Directive, the Bern and Bonn conventions the relevant animal welfare legislation linked to caring for or possessing and releasing injured bats the Biodiversity Action Plan process and the concept of landscape scale conservation the significance of statutory designations and similar bat protection how SNCOs operate regarding bats in the UK the conservation aims of EPS licences (pros and cons, short-term and long-term) how other government departments operate in relation to bats in the UK such as felling licences and assessment for change in land use for forestry management the role of enforcement bodies: the police, SNCOs and wildlife crime officers reporting of licence infringements: - the role of the UK statutory nature conservation agencies - the role of the Police the differences in the legal system within the UK countries the broad requirements for evidence gathering 11

12 Unit 2: Legislation, licensing and planning Outline the advantages and disadvantages of prosecution judicial reviews that have informed the implementation of legislation over the past two years the advantages of early intervention and preventative action the types of offences that have been successfully brought before the courts, and the level of punishment the degrees of seriousness of possible offences alternative methods of dealing with issues not involving the courts 2.2 Development planning Explain the process used to control development Explain protection of listed buildings, conservation areas, tree preservation orders Explain development with regards to churches Recognise the value of submitting sufficient ecological information with an application Recognise the planning policy and statutory issues that should/must be addressed when determining an application the basic planning application process and who administers it where development may require planning permission and the various types of planning permissions planning requirements for building demolition knowledge of planning documentation and guidance relevant planning and legal case law relating to protected species and planning what protection is afforded the limits to development who deals with these issues how works on churches are planned and agreed where professional advice is required why ecological information on protected species must be submitted with the planning application identify whether an application is of a type and/or at a location where it is likely to affect protected species that bats are a material consideration in the planning process regardless of whether planning permission has been granted the role of the Local Planning Authority and the process to obtain a mitigation licence compile reports that provide sufficient information to determine a planning application identify and collate all relevant information required to complete an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should the development require it interpret all the relevant survey data and development proposals to complete an Assessment of Significant Effect and address the ecological impacts within an EIA develop and complete strategic environmental assessments relating to SACs and large scale infrastructure projects 2.3 How we conserve bats Describe how the UK and local Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) conserve the UK s bats the purpose of the UK BAP, the bat species currently listed on it and the reason for their inclusion the content of the UK BAP, subsequent local initiatives and how they protect species and habitats the role of ecological consultants in bat work and bat conservation and the opportunity for consultants to contribute to UK BAP targets the role of partner organisations in the delivery of the UK BAP and how local action links to UK BAPs. 12

13 Unit 2: Legislation, licensing and planning current key actions, opportunities, threats, research requirements and constraints to delivery for bats on the UK BAP 2.4 Licensing Differentiate between licensed and unlicensed activities Describe the purposes of the different licences relating to bats Apply for a personal or a class survey licence Recognise the role of the different authorities within the licensing process Decide when it is appropriate to apply for a mitigation licence Apply for a mitigation licence how otherwise illegal activities are licensed those illegal activities that can be licensed and under which pieces of legislation these fall an understanding of Reasonable Avoidance Measures that can be applied to avoid the need for a licence that licences can be divided into four groups; personal licences; class survey licences; general licences and mitigation licences. the different personal licences available and their role in different situations the purpose of general licences the purpose of the householder exclusion licence the purpose of the mitigation licence the differences in licences between the UK countries where to obtain guidance and application forms the process for validation, e.g. referees, trainer the training process and skills/experience required for each licence type the renewal process and importance of updating skills the conditions placed on licences (including reporting requirements) who is responsible for granting the different types of licences in the UK countries how the local planning authorities consider the three tests before granting planning permission who is responsible for judging the three tests in a mitigation licence application identify whether an offence will be committed the consideration of suitable alternatives for carrying out development that will avoid the need for a licence the three tests and their interpretation recent case law relating to this interpretation the most recent guidance on interpretation of disturbance, and apply assessment undertake the appropriate studies and surveys (specific to the development site) to obtain this information where to obtain guidance and application forms the role and responsibilities of the ecologist/developer in the licence application process the difference between the method statement and reason statement and who is responsible for completing each key points to cover in the application form the skills required to undertake the relevant work reporting under terms and conditions of the licence 13

14 Unit 3: Preparation and planning of surveys Unit contents: 3.1 Health and safety: Health and safety issues commonly associated with bat surveys 3.2 Planning surveys: Identify the need for, and plan and report on, bat survey work including the range of surveys that can be used, limitations and current guidance Section Performance Criteria You must be able to: Knowledge and skills You must know and understand/you must be able to: Health and safety Explain why health and safety (H&S) issues are important Recognise the need for risk assessments Apply health and safety appropriate to the circumstances Recognise the risks associated with European Bat Lyssavirus (EBLV) the importance of H&S issues and the relevant legislation relating to oneself and third party safety employers /own H&S liability the need for adequate insurance relating to the work to be undertaken the need to consider biosecurity e.g. white-nose syndrome why risk assessments are necessary complete risk assessments for various activities assess and respond appropriately to unexpected risks encountered during a survey the safety training required for different types of underground sites/working at height/working in confined spaces the importance of health and safety when working with members of the public or other volunteers the range of health and safety risks to consider for different groups and individuals the small risk posed to humans by British bats and EBLV the need to follow best practice with regards to gloves and vaccinations the processes to follow if a bat bite incident occurs, or a bat is suspected of carrying EBLV 3.2 Planning surveys Identify the objectives of a survey Identify appropriate techniques for surveying legislative and planning requirements establish the objectives of the survey and identify simple survey techniques that the objectives of the survey may include the need to establish: - likelihood of particular buildings, structures, trees and other features to support bats - presence or absence and estimates of numbers of bats - specific features used within the survey area by roosting bats - areas and features of importance for particular species whilst foraging, commuting or migrating - seasonal usage of an area or roost by bats - the effect of a proposed activity or development on bat behaviour - opportunities for enhancement of bat habitat that may be possible within any given area - distribution of bat species across the site and surrounding areas 14

15 Unit 3: Preparation and planning of surveys Undertake a preliminary ecological appraisal List the types of survey techniques available and when to use them Identify the level of surveys and surveyors required for a development Recognise the limitations of different survey techniques Plan surveys - improved understanding of bat behaviour within a specific species or at a particular location select survey techniques suitable for the purpose and objectives of the bat survey establish the timings and duration of surveys and the level of experience required the importance of accounting for the size, nature and complexity of the survey site compile a desk study and carry out a preliminary ecological appraisal to inform the scoping exercise and devise basic survey methods undertake a scoping exercise to determine what survey work is required from assessment of findings in relation to survey objectives how different survey methods may be suitable for different structures assess which survey techniques may be suitable for: - a building or bridge roost - tree roost - underground roost - swarming site - foraging area - commuting route - migration route identify a combination of survey techniques for use at large or complex sites the importance of obtaining information from noninvasive detector surveys (manual and automated) before considering implementing any invasive techniques how survey effort is dependent on: - type and scale of the proposed activity or project and its potential impacts on bats - size, nature and complexity of the development - proximity of designated sites - value of surrounding habitats for bats - known bat populations in the area how the number of surveyors is dependent on: - the area of development - the bat potential of the site - the objective(s) of the survey why single survey methods are rarely used in isolation the survey principles outlined in national guidance documents that the level of survey effort should be proportionate to the likely use of the site by bats and the potential effects of the proposed development on the species present how to combine both timings and techniques of surveys to produce comprehensive information the limitations that equipment use places on bat activity surveys (manual and automated) how results of observations are biased by detection methods implement additional survey techniques to address equipment limitations what data is required to meet survey objectives 15

16 Unit 3: Preparation and planning of surveys Recognise and overcome constraints associated with surveys how this data will be analysed site/land access permission requirements plan an initial assessment of the use of a site by bats plan a roost count plan a presence/absence survey for a small habitat/area plan a survey to measure the level of activity at a given site plan further surveys required for potential hibernation and maternity roosts plan a long-term seasonal monitoring programme of bats in an area plan a survey/programme to understand bat activity and bat use of a landscape develop statistically robust surveys to assess abundance and distribution of bats plan research to help fill gaps in knowledge how seasonality and conditions might affect surveys animal welfare issues associated with surveys safely overcome difficult or unsafe access work within approved survey guidelines recognise when evidence may have been removed, and what this may mean 16

17 Unit 4: Survey techniques and equipment Unit contents: 4.1 Recording information: Record and understand survey effort and data required when surveying 4.2 Activity surveys: Use a range of bat detectors in the field, to undertake and devise activity surveys for bats 4.3 Roost surveys: Locate sites used by bats as roosts or hibernacula, to identify where and when in the site the bats roost, the likely species involved and assess the likely impacts 4.4 Catching bats: Catching bats with a static hand net, mist net, harp trap. Including the advanced method of enhancing capture rate by the use of a sonic lure 4.5 Marking bats: Marking bats for later re-identification, including short and long duration methods of marking Section Performance Criteria You must be able to: Knowledge and skills You must know and understand/you must be able to: Recording information Recognise why bat information should be recorded Record information in standard formats Recognise the importance of accurate biological recording and how to collect this data Record data from individual bat surveys Recognise where to send data Explain data ownership Describe the principles of the Data Protection Act Prepare reports when and why information should be recorded where information is stored and who to contact for information relevant guidelines for recording information use a standardised format for recording data complete a standard form for a more complex situation such as a mitigation licence application the level of information that should be recorded the need for validation the network of recording agencies in the UK advanced biological record validation record details of presence record appropriate information to report on the findings of a bat survey record data relating to complex roost structures, complex underground sites, single roost trees in a wood, flight line data record evidence where an offence may have been caused record and use data for distribution mapping record data from radio-tracking where bat records are held, the formats and the types of databases used the role of the National Biodiversity Network and Local Biological Record Centres in data collection who owns the data and rights to use legal issues surrounding bat data collected through commercial contracts terms and conditions for the use of data sets (NBN, LBRCs etc) how this affects the sharing and release of data available guidance on report writing explain limitations and constraints of surveys report back concisely and clearly on findings produce a survey report draft a mitigation licence application for a development that will result in the loss of an Annexe II species maternity or hibernation roosts 17

18 Unit 4: Survey techniques and equipment 4.2 Activity surveys Use heterodyne detectors in the field Use broadband detectors in the field Use static detectors in the field Undertake manual field surveys Identify bats in the field prepare a report on long-term seasonal use of a site, including an assessment of population trends where appropriate the advantages and limitations of a heterodyne detector recognise when the use of a heterodyne detectors is appropriate undertake surveys (e.g. emergence, dawn surveys and transects) with a heterodyne detector the advantages and limitations of different broadband systems recognise when the use of a broadband detector is appropriate the differences of frequency division and time expansion detectors undertake surveys (e.g. emergence, dawn surveys and transects) with a broadband detector and make recordings identify, where possible, species present on an activity survey the advantages and limitations of static detectors recognise when the use of a static detector is appropriate the set-up and maintenance static detectors how static detectors can complement other activity surveys use static detectors in the field use detectors to determine presence/absence of a species determine the intensity of bat activity both spatially and temporally determine the type of activity, most usually: - foraging - commuting - swarming identify roosts by tracking bat flight paths or observing dawn flight activity identify emergence of bats from a building or built structure devise a detailed activity survey schedule for largescale sites record: - echolocation calls - patterns of flight - apparent size - height - location and habitat - type of activity feeding, commuting - time of activity - weather conditions use heterodyne detectors to listen to: - the time between calls - relative loudness - change in pitch - tune through frequency range of a call confidently identify to a likely species using heterodyne detectors (with the exception of the Myotis and Plecotus genuses) 18

19 Unit 4: Survey techniques and equipment Recognise social calling in bats different types of social calling identify social calls of bats 4.3 Roost surveys Use bat droppings and bat urine to locate bat activity sites and roosts Use grease marks and other signs to locate bat roosting places Use insect prey remains to locate night feeding sites Locate bats by smell Locate live bats in exposed positions in structures Locate live bats in crevices Survey bat boxes safely Locate live bats in underground sites (cellars, mines, ice-houses, limekilns, tunnels, caves etc.) where droppings and urine spots are most likely to occur identify bat droppings and urine spots identify bat roosts/access points and read behaviour from droppings and urine spot patterns indicate likely bat species by droppings size, quality and location. identify likely use of site locate, and identify a roost entrance from grease marks and/or scratches at a roost entrance locate roosting places by scratches, wear, clean area, etc distinguish on a tree between bat marks and those from other animals or weathering locate collections of insect remains distinguish between prey remains from a bat and that of other animals identify likely bat species involved based on prey items, site and location. how smell can be used to identify bat presence use smell to identify the likelihood of bat presence the likely places to look for roosting bats visually locate bats in exposed places identify to a likely species when in situ (with the exception of whiskered/brandt s/alcathoe) the likely crevices where bats may be found what equipment is available to search crevices use appropriate simple equipment identify bats to a likely species when in situ (with the exception of whiskered/brandt s/alcathoe) locate bats which are not visible, but audible use of more complex equipment the construction and how the box works when bats are vulnerable to disturbance and the impact of bat box checking at these times safely open and close the box distinguish between bat and bird droppings in a box likely positions where bats will be located the disturbance potential to bats at hibernation sites and the possible effects this could have on bat populations likely uses made by bats of such sites throughout the year the optimum times for carrying out surveys in order to locate bats that a degree of uncertainty is acceptable when identifying bats locate obvious exposed bats survey the site carefully and effectively with simple correct equipment locate hibernating bats deep in a structure where little is visible identify hibernating bats in situ to a likely species (with the exception of whiskered/brandt s/alcathoe) 19

20 Unit 4: Survey techniques and equipment Locate likely tree roosting sites methods for identifying roosts identify obvious likely holes in the main trunks/major branches from the ground identify likely roosting sites in trees from the ground survey the tree carefully and effectively with correct equipment 4.4 Catching bats Identify situations where static net use is appropriate Identify situations where mist net/harp trap use is appropriate Identify which mist nets/harp traps are appropriate for catching bats Justify the purpose of catching bats with a static net, i.e. why do it, is there an alternative, sample sizes Justify the purpose of catching bats with a mist net/harp trap, i.e. why do it, is there an alternative, sample sizes Recognise the effect capture can have on each species/reproductive status including variations in effect depending on timing of captures Use a static net to catch bats with acceptable disturbance Use a mist net/harp trap to catch bats with acceptable disturbance Explain trap placement and how to maximise efficiency/suit purpose Identify the most appropriate protocol to use when catching bats Recall when techniques to lure bats could be employed Describe the difference in impact on bats between use of capture by mist nets and harp traps when capture of bats is necessary and appropriate using a static net the necessary licence and data returns required to use a static net when capture of bats is necessary and appropriate using a harp trap/mist net the necessary licence and data returns required to use a mist net/harp trap available net/trap manufacturers how different nets/traps have different effects on catching bats judge the number of bats that need to be captured the need to justify the reasoning for static net use at a specific site the need to catch the minimum number of bats with minimum disturbance for the purpose judge the number of bats that need to be captured the need to justify the reasoning for the use of a net/trap at a specific site the need to catch the minimum number of bats with minimum disturbance when bats are vulnerable the likely effect of catching bats at different reproductive stages incidental disturbance to bats not captured how long should be spent catching with a static net use a static net to capture and release bats without causing them damage use a mist net/harp trap in a variety of situations use a mist net/harp trap to capture and release bats without causing them damage bats use of habitat identify the likely flightlines used by bats in different habitats harp trap/mist net placement relative to bats flightlines to maximise capture efficiency the likely capture frequency in different habitats and with different equipment how long should be spent catching and with how many harp traps/mist nets bats social calls and social interactions relevant licence requirement for the use of a lure limitations of harp traps mist nets for certain species safe and appropriate use of lures the different adverse effects the two types of trapping systems have on bats optimum frequency of checking of mist nets for bats as opposed to harp traps 20

21 Unit 4: Survey techniques and equipment 4.5 Marking bats Identify which methods of marking are appropriate Recall that bats fitted with radio transmitters can be used to locate roosting places and obtain foraging data Identify situations where marking is appropriate Justify the purpose of marking bats Recognise the effect marking can have on each species/reproductive status Use equipment to mark bats with minimal disturbance available methods of marking relevant licensing requirements how different marking methods have different effects on bats and their different durations assign a marking method to a particular purpose limitations of different marking methods limitations of this technique what can be achieved during the short life of the transmitter aerial design for accuracy of pin-pointing roosting places the different methods that are appropriate for the survey objectives use radio-tracking equipment effectively to pin-point exact roosting places use radio-tracking equipment effectively to collect data on foraging areas used by tagged bats when marking is necessary what type of marking is most appropriate for a particular situation the purpose of marking provide justification for the use of marking using examples the need to mark the minimum number of bats with minimum disturbance for the purpose judge the number of bats that need to be marked for the purpose when bats are particularly vulnerable likely effect of marking bats at different reproductive stages use equipment safely use equipment to mark bats without causing them damage 21

22 Unit 5: Bat identification Unit contents: 5.1 Bat identification visually and in the hand: Identification of bats through visual observations (e.g. when in bat boxes or crevices) and when in the hand (I.D in the hand information must be used in conjunction with handling module) Please note that the handling of live bats should only be carried out by appropriately licensed and vaccinated individuals when necessary for the purposes of the situation. Section Performance Criteria You must be able to: Knowledge and skills You must know and understand/you must be able to: Bat identification visually and in the hand Identify a live or dead bat from its physical characteristics Identify a bat when in a crevice or bat box Differentiate between sexes Differentiate between age classes Assess the reproductive status of an individual basic bat anatomy recognise that there is variation in the physical characteristics of individual bats that a degree of uncertainty is acceptable identify and measure criteria required by a key on a complete bat identify to a likely species (with the exception of whiskered/brandt s/alcathoe) identify when the bat is not a native species examine teeth in a live bat identify cryptic species using teeth, size and skull shape key identification features for different species identify a bat to a likely species (with the exception of whiskered/brandt s/alcathoe) with minimum disturbance estimate the number of individuals in a bat box with minimum disturbance difference in males and females changes in fur and skin colours during the year between sexes sex a live bat differences between adults and young flying bats the difficulty of this technique in the latter part of the season changes in fur and skin colours with age differentiate between adult and juvenile bats the reproductive cycle and how this will affect the signs used to assess reproductive status throughout the season categorise a female as pregnant, lactating, postlactating or non-breeding identify a sexually active male 22

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