Help us better understand what Irish bats eat.
Know of a bat roost in Ireland? Collect bat droppings and UCD will analyse them using state of the art techniques.
Contribute to citizen science
Help us learn what bats eat
Protect their future
Bats are important predators of night flying insects
- They are under pressure from habitat loss, climate change and insecticides
- They are portrayed poorly by the media
- The consequences of losing our bats could be enormous
- It is vital we gain a better understanding of what bats eat, how much they eat and where
Sounds good! Tell me more…
Why find out
what bats are eating?
We want to know if bats help control pest insects by eating them. These are ecosystem services provided by bats.
How we find out
what bats are eating?
UCD will analyse droppings using DNA metabarcoding techniques and identify the bat species and what the bats have been eating.
How can you help?
If you host a bat roost YOU can volunteer to collect droppings and send them to the lab! There is a very simple protocol that you need to check out first. Please read or watch a video of the sampling instructions here. Once you are comfortable that you can carry out the steps involved – all you have to do is register and we will send you a sampling pack!
What is a citizen scientist?
A member of the public who assists with data collection or research on a scientific project. At Bat Conservation Ireland we welcome participation and have had assistance from thousands of people on many different projects since 2004.
How it Works
Once you have checked the sampling protocol and are sure you can follow it you can register on the system. We will then send you your sampling kit with all you need to carry out the survey.
2. Send a sample
As soon as UCD receives your sample in the post you will get confirmation by email.
3. Get the results
As samples are processed in the lab you will get more details; first the species of bat, then in time, more information on the prey bats have been eating.
The importance of bats
Bats are important predators of night flying insects. But they are under pressure from habitat loss, climate change, insecticides and, let’s face it, a very poor image in the media.
The consequences of losing our bats could be enormous. In the U.S. the economic importance of bats, in terms of pest control, is estimated to be worth $22.9 billion per year. Here in Ireland, it is vital we gain a better understanding of what bats eat, how much they eat and where!
Keep up to date
Sign up for our regular project updates