Early autumn bat walks on the Innertube

A reminder that we are running a free, drop-in bat walk tonight (Wednesday 18 September, 7.30pm) at Harrison Park.  Meet us by the play area, accessed from Ogilvie Terrace, Harrison Road and Harrison Gardens.  All welcome, but under 16s should be accompanied by an adult.  It’s getting chilly in the evenings, so please wrap up warm and you may want to bring along a torch.

If you can’t make tonight, we’ll be holding another walk on Wednesday 25 September at 7.15pm – on the North Edinburgh routes – click here for meeting point.

This time of year is perfect for bat watching, as they come out to feed on insects in the early dusk – a tiny pipistrelle, one of the species we’re most likely to see on our walk, has a huge appetite and can eat up to 3,000 insects in a single night, making them great creatures to keep the midges and other insect pests at bay.

Only those people with extremely acute hearing can hear bats, as they navigate and find food by echolocation, and we will have bat detectors on hand to pick up their movement as they fly above.

Bats roost in trees, buildings and even in crevices under bridges and like to pack together tightly for warmth during hibernation.  They are long lived creatures and may survive up to 25-30 years old, but only give birth to one baby per year, making their survival more precarious than other mammals.  The Bat Conservation Trust says that bat numbers are decreasing, under threat from habitat loss, due to housing development, deforestation and the building of new roads and transport routes.  In addition, their food supply is affected by the increased use of pesticides reducing the numbers of mature insects available for them to eat.

Bat roosts are protected and the Bat Conservation Trust or Scottish Natural Heritage can offer advice on what to do if you have bats living nearby.  There’s so much to find out about these fascinating little creatures and we’ll have an expert on hand to answer all your questions.

For further information, please contact Esperanza on 0131 445 4025 or email esperanza@elgt.org.uk

This project is supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Natural Heritage, and is a celebration of the Year of Natural Scotland.

 

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