DBG: Bat maps

Until DBG produces new maps the best source for maps showing species distribution in our local area is the

Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) website.

Below you will find links to the relevant pages.

For maps showing wider bat distribution please refer to National Biodiversity Network Gateway - Vespertilionidae

Are the maps accurate?

One criticism that is often levelled at wildlife records of any kind is that they really only represent the distribution and activity of wildlife recorders. For many species there may be a cluster of records supplied by a keen naturalist, but the species may go unrecorded in other parts of its range just because no-one has looked for it there. Our bat records go some way to escaping this criticism as many of them result from members of the public contacting the Bat Group. This may be because they have found an injured bat or because of their concern, or interest, regarding a colony of bats that happens to be using their building as a roost. Durham Bat Group has been answering these bat calls on behalf of the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation since the early 1980s and now has almost four hundred separate roosts on its database. Unless you consider that people in certain parts of the county are more likely to express their concern or interest in bats, it is probably a fair assumption that, by now, our records are a reflection of where the bats are in the county (at least the ones that are associated with buildings).

One truism about wildlife records that certainly does apply to our records, however, is that they are out of date as soon as they are published. Just after the early maps were compiled, a Bat Group field outing to a lake near Spennymoor turned up Nathusius' Pipistrelle. This was the first record for the county other than a post-breeding dispersal record in Teesdale. Also, bats that don't tend to roost in buildings, such as Noctules and Daubenton's, may well be more widely distributed than our records show.

This is where you come in. If you identify a bat that isn't shown on the map, don't criticise the map - REPORT THE OBSERVATION!