Mortimer Environmental News & Views


Using Infra-red And Thermal Imaging For Bat Surveys

The use of thermal imaging and infra-red recording techniques alongside more traditional bat survey methods is becoming increasingly prevalent. Working in collaboration with Anton Kattan of Pure Ecology, we have found that combining the two techniques together can provide fantastic insights into bat behaviour in large/complex building structures.

Thermal imaging, with a wider field of view, can be used to find areas where bats are active and to identify roost locations, due to the heat signature left behind once the bat has exited the roost. Infra-red recording devices can then be directed to these areas to provide greater resolution (with a narrower field of view) to record behaviour.

The images below show how we used these two techniques in complex internal church roof structures to locate roosts and study roosting and socialisation behaviours, such as recording the grooming behaviour of these Natterer’s bats. Our proposed used of these methods for a site containing several large, complex building structures for a client in Worcester will deliver not just excellent quality data, but cost savings over traditional survey methods. 

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