Bringing in the experts from Forest Bridge Trust

Bat Monitoring

On Friday, 23 February 2024, we were very fortunate to have input from Virginia Moreno, Ecology & Biodiversity Advisor, Forest Bridge Trust, who visited the valley to instal three bat monitoring devices. We have previously carried out bat monitoring using a hand-held device which indicated there was no bat activity. However, Viriginia advised the presence of bats is determined by a number of variables including the weather, temperature and availability of invertebrate prey and they might still be visiting the area. These automatic monitors which were positioned in two locations along the stream and on the border of the bush, will provide a more accurate record of bat activity over a period of weeks. Virginia plans to return to the bush with other members of the Forest Bridge Trust team to carry out a night time herpetological study. We look forward to the results of these investigations.

AT220 Data gathering

On Monday, 11 March, Hamish Stewart, Predator Control Assistant, provided an excellent training session on gathering data from the AT220 self setting traps. While we had been advised to count the rats carcasses or tails of decomposed rats to determine the number of strikes, these devices can do so much more. The data Hamish downloaded from one device indicated it had caught 5 possums and 12 rats whereas our data collection had indicated the machine had only caught 6 rats. Clearly this is a more reliable method of recording as often carcasses are carried away by scavengers including feral pigs. Hamish will be reviewing all our AT220 traps to ensure they are fully operational, and downloading the data.

We are most grateful to Virginia and Hamish for their valuable input and to Forest Bridge Trust for providing us with these experts in the field.