Welcome to the Essex Bat Group website

If you have a bat in need of rescue please click on the Bat Rescue tab above and you will find contact details and advice.

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Maps

The latest distribution maps for all Essex species are now available in the Bats of Essex section.

News

Bravo Iceland supermarket! Iceland are going to ban palm oil in their own-brand products by the end of the year.  The clearing of primary tropical rainforest for palm oil plantations is having a devastating impact on south-east Asia wildlife including bat and orangutan populations.  Palm oil is everywhere and it can be challenging to avoid or find sustainable sources.  However the responsible action and the initiative shown by Iceland and others helps us all to reduce our contribution to habitat loss and species extinctions. How can I help?

Talks

Our second annual Jan Ragg Memorial Talk will be held in April or May, details to be announced in due course.

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What are bats up to in April and May?

April
Bats are now active on all but the coldest nights.  When there are insects flying they will be actively foraging.   If there’s a cold spell, they will return to a torpid state until it’s warm enough to feed again.

This a period of mating and the beginning of pregnancy for many adult female bats (through the re-activation of sperm stored since autumnal mating or by way of spring mating).  April is a time of transition when bats often change their more settled winter hibernation sites for temporary roosts and when females begin to return to often long-established maternity roosts in which they form colonies.

May
May is a busy month for bats particularly females who are finding suitable nursery roosts and establishing their maternity colonies.  For pregnant bats gestation will last for 40-50 days in smaller species and up to 70 days in lager bats.  In exceptionally favourable years females begin giving birth before the end of the month, but most babies arrive from mid-June onwards.   Males will be largely separate in their own roosts (individually or in small groups) and are not involved in the raising of young.

If you find a grounded bat or are concerned about a bat’s welfare, then please refer to the Bat Rescue tab above.

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Who are Essex Bat Group?

We are an active voluntary group passionate about the conservation of bat species, their roosts and foraging habitat within Essex, UK.  Our activities include survey, research, rescue and care and providing advice and information.  More details are provided under the ‘About’ tab.

AP01Hatfield Forest – one of the best sites for bat diversity in Essex and a site where we are actively involved in surveys (image copyright: A Palmer)