Bats Of Thicksons Woods
In 2015, the Matt Holder Environmental Education Fund conducted a pilot bat study Thickson’s Woods Nature Reserve. The goals of this project were to learn about bats in the Reserve and to engage the public in bat conservation. A series of public walks were conducted, and simultaneous formalised acoustic transects were completed approximately weekly from June through August 2015.
The most numerous bats were Big Brown or Silver-haired, two species with highly overlapping call repertoires that are difficult to distinguish. The second most numerous were Eastern Red Bats. Other species identified were Hoary, Little Brown, and Tri-colored Bats.
Bats were detected throughout the survey period, indicating that Thickson’s Woods is a valuable site for at least Big Brown, Silver-haired, and Eastern Red Bats. Hoary Bats were detected in low numbers during formal surveys but were repeatedly observed informally during public events, suggesting they may also make use of the site. The presence of Little Brown and Tri-colored Bats, both rare and threatened species, is significant despite the low numbers. Public engagement efforts were highly successful, with a total of 180 people attending a series of events throughout the year to listen to talks about bat ecology and to see native bats in flight.