How to Survey and Study Bats in Woodlands

This introductory bat course will explore and practice the methods used to investigate these elusive animals at woodland sites. Woodlands are the most important habitats for bat conservation, but they are also greatly diminished and under continuing pressure from development.

In this course, we will look at a range of standard and advanced techniques that are used for surveying and studying bats and consider their relative effectiveness in woodland habitats. There will be nocturnal fieldwork with demonstrations of capture techniques, acoustic lures, and the identification of bats in the hand. There will also be a range of classroom demonstrations of equipment for radio-tracking and acoustic monitoring and practical exercises in the identification of bats from sonograms of their echolocation calls. The application of each technique will be illustrated with specific examples from the tutor’s own experience of research and survey work on bats in the UK and overseas.

If you are interested in learning more about surveying bats, then this is the course for you!

* This course provides an introduction to the capture and handling of bats and the use of acoustic lures. Long-term training is required before it is possible to obtain a licence to use these methods. Field demonstrations will be dependent on the weather.

Your course will take place within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to field sites in Dartmoor National Park and urban centres in Plymouth and Torbay.
Please Note: There is no accommodation provided with this course. If you would like to book accommodation, lunch and an evening meal at Slapton Ley, please email
This course will include:

    • Introduction and practical demonstration of survey techniques for bats
    • A review of the status of British bats
    • The importance of woodland habitats for bat conservation
    • How to set surveys and collect data
    • Field demonstrations

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

    • Explain the importance of woodland habitats
    • Identify the methods for identifying bats in the hand
    • Record bat species, sex, age-class and release calls
    • Discussion of the advantages and limitations of different techniques
    • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our fantastic tutor will combine the use of classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities to give individuals the skills and confidence to progress.

How to Apply

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Key Information

Start date:

12th August 2022 at 7:00pm




Field Studies Council




Biodiversity, Biology, Climate Change, Conservation, Countryside & Land Management, Ecology, Environment, Nature & Wildlife, Research, Sustainability


FSC Slapton Ley, United Kingdom

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