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Sunrise Survey 23 July 2004

Following the success of the Manx Bat Group's recent sleepover, committee members are hopeful that the public will respond and help in the Sunrise Surveys, which will be taking place throughout the British Isles for three weeks, starting Saturday July 24th. The Manx Bat Group has decided that it will conduct its own surveys around the island on Saturday 7th August.

Dull weather and drizzle hampered observations on the evening of the sleepover, which attracted several families new to bat-watching. They found that the early morning period of observation was much more interesting, with more bats being located and being visible for longer.

The Sunrise Survey is an initiative of the Bat Conservation Trust and has been organised to help find roost sites for monitoring in the future to see whether new roosts are being created or lost. Manx Bat Group Chairman, Mr Nick Pinder, explained:

"As people found on our recent sleepover, bats are much easier to observe at dawn as they return to their roosts against a lightening sky than when they emerge sometime after dusk. If you're lucky you can also easily see their spectacular swarming behaviour before they enter their roost and so accurately locate a roost to add to our knowledge of bats and their distribution on the Island. You don't need to be especially knowledgeable to assist or carry specialist equipment, just keen, observant and an early riser!"

Persons interested in taking part in the sunrise survey are asked to contact Nick Pinder at the Curraghs Wildlife Park, tel 897323, to say where they will be looking for bats and to report their findings afterwards. Observations should start a minimum of half an hour before sunrise which will be 5.34 on August 7th.

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