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…

Plecotus auritus

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.

People surveying a bat roost

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.

Bat droppings in an attic space

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. Download or watch a video of sampling instructions. 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

1. Register

Once you are set up on the system we will send you your sampling kit with all you need to carry out the survey.

Bat droppings in an attic

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!

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