Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Thieves steal thousands of pounds worth of bat equipment
THOUSANDS of pounds worth of specialist equipment has been stolen from a rare bat conservation project in south Warwickshire.
The equipment belongs to the Warwickshire Barbastelle Project, and is used for monitoring bat movements.
The stolen equipment includes two radiotracking receivers used to follow rare barbastelle bats, which live in woodland near Shipston, as part of a two year conservation project.
Project officer Lois Browne, who works for Warwickshire County Council, said the equipment was stolen between September 16 and September 18.
“It was in a secured locked container in the middle of a woodland, and we suspect that opportunists thought they had found something valuable,” he said.
“It’s really of no use to anyone other than ecologists. Only people radio tracking animals would want to use it, so we’ve alerted the ecological community to the theft and we’re also tracking various online auction sites.
“Hopefully whoever has taken it will realise the error of their ways and return the radio tracking receivers to us.”
The equipment is very important to the successful completion of the project and future conservation projects.
Ms Browne added: “It’s not all been bad news though, two students from Belgium found our project website and Facebook page online and decided to travel to the UK to help with the project.
“They travelled by train, car and even foot to reach the study site to assist with radiotracking the barbastelle bats, which they were keen to learn more about.
“We have attracted help from volunteers from Birmingham Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and even Dorset, but Belgium is certainly the furthest that volunteers have come from to help with our project.”
The Warwickshire Barbastelle Project is a SITA trust funded project coordinated by Warwickshire County Council in partnership with Warwickshire Bat Group (WBG).
It is supported by The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), Natural England and a team of volunteers and aims to gain a better understanding of the ecology of the barbastelle bat in south Warwickshire, which is of national importance as a breeding location for the species.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the receivers should call the police in Shipston.
Comments are closed on this article.