“I already held a Level 1 class survey licence for bats – an essential requirement for being accepted onto the course. A Level 1 licence allows me to lawfully survey for bats using torchlight only. Holding a Level 2 licence would permit me, as the licence holder, to use additional methods of surveying that would otherwise be deemed unlawful, such as using an endoscope to inspect potential roost features, handling bats (known as taking by hand) and using a hand net to capture bats emerging from a roost.
“The course aimed to cover all aspects of training associated with possessing a Level 2 licence for bats, although previous experience was desirable. The course covered
- classroom sessions: ecology, anatomy, licensing, legislation, record returns, rabies and vaccination, licensable activities and scenarios
- practical sessions: handling of live and dead bats, flight cage experience, taking bats by hand, hand netting, and endoscoping of trees and buildings.
“I had the opportunity to handle eight different species of bat including notcule, Leisler’s, common and soprano pipistrelle, brown long-eared and a variety of myotis. We visited three roosts: a roost of eight Daubenton’s bats in a mature beech tree; a structure where up to 500 soprano pipistrelles has been recorded previously; and a residential house with up to 1000 soprano pipistrelles recorded on past visits. Bats were captured using hand nets at the two soprano pipistrelle roosts over three nights then sexed, aged and released.
“I was assessed as being competent in all elements of the course. This, combined with my personal knowledge and skill in bat handling and survey methods, resulted in me being awarded a course certificate and the single reference required to upgrade my Level 1 bat class survey licence to Level 2, which I now hold.”