Kessels Ecology, working for Project Echo, have successfully applied for funding (from DOC, WRC and HCC) to repeat the 2011/2012 city-wide bat survey in Hamilton City (completed by Kessels and Project Echo) to better understand habitat use within the city.
The result is a Hamilton city bat research project which started early 2017 and consists of a staged research programme with the primary aims of 1) increasing knowledge of the distribution and habitat use of Hamilton city long-tailed bats, and 2) monitoring long-term trends in activity at key monitoring sites.
A combination of habitat modelling and acoustic site surveys is used to understand where bats are located throughout the city, how they may move through the landscape, and how this changes over time. Long-term monitoring of bats is an integral part of this research project with monitoring to take place annually for at least five, but ideally, ten years.
A second aim of this project is to use knowledge of bat distribution, habitat use, and activity trends to guide restoration of habitat based on an ethos of community involvement in, and education of, Hamilton’s urban ecosystems that are utilised by bats. The involvement of the community is an integral part of this research, partnering with tangata whenua and the development and utilisation of trained volunteer community groups as part of the ongoing survey rounds.