Halloween Bat Walk on Keele Campus

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Posted on 01 November 2017

On Oct 31st Keele hosted a 'Bat Walk', led by the Staffordshire Bat Group, to check out the campus bats!

Approximately 30 staff and students were issued with bat detectors for a tour of Keele lakes and woods.  Despite the time of year, which meant that most of our bats would be entering hibernation, several pipistrelles were detected in the woods near Keele Hall, busily seeking the last of the year's insects before winter sets in.  Pipistrelles bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) hibernate from November to early April but they are commonly seen around Keele campus on summer evenings.  They are the smallest and commonest British bat.  They eat small moths, gnats and other insects and a single bat may consume up to 3,000 insects in one night.

Walk leader Phil also provided the bat-walkers with a feast of interesting bat facts, and introduced the group to several captive pipistrelles which the Staffordshire Bat Group was holding in bat-rehab after they had been mauled by domestic cats.

During the winter (and in summer daytimes), bats roost in buildings, bat boxes and trees, all of which are abundantly supplied by Keele campus.  In 2013, a pipistrelle bat was found in the corridors of the Life Sciences building - probably having just emerging from hibernation after the winter.