Bat Boxes To Help Protect Ireland’s Most Misunderstood Mammal

From: Dunphy Public Relations/Clare Local Authorities
Published: Wed Jun 04 2008

The Clare Bat Box Project 2008, which recently received EUR3k funding from the Heritage Council, aims to erect 20 specially ordered Bat boxes at five locations throughout the county.

It is hoped that the boxes will provide valuable homes for Clare’s many bat species and encourage local communities to learn, watch and protect their resident bat populations.

According to Ms. Brigid Barry, Clare Biodiversity Officer, "Many people are surprised when they hear that bats do not always live in caves. Some bats spend winter months in caves, but most bats spend summers in trees, under bridges or in old buildings, where they give birth and rear young. Bat boxes act as nurseries for these protected species"

Nine of the ten species of bats in Ireland are found breeding in Clare, underpinning the county’s status as one of Europe’s most important bat population centres. The Daubenton's bats, for example, are endangered in parts of Europe and are ‘endangered’ in the Irish Red Data Book but are still considered relatively common in Clare. Clare also has internationally important populations of Lesser Horseshoe and Leisler’s bats.

The mammals are strictly protected in Ireland under the Wildlife Act (1976) and the EU Habitats Directive.

The Clare Bat Group, meanwhile, has organised a series of public events at the bat box locations in Flagmount, Ennis, Kilrush, O’Briensbridge and Two Mile Gate/Ballycuggeran.

Ms. Barry explained that one of the main objectives of the upcoming bat walks and talks would be to expose people to the highly complex lives of bats and help to dispel the myths that exist about them.

"Bats actually have very good eyesight but because they hunt at night when it is dark, they use sound (echolocation) to navigate and locate their prey. Echolocation is a highly sophisticated accurate location method. Bat detectors have been developed to make the ultrasound audible to humans and have helped to distinguish different bats in flight. And, despite the rumours, bats do not get stuck in you hair", Ms. Barry stated.

She continued, "To celebrate the Clare Bat Box Project 2008, the Clare Bat Group has organised a number of events throughout the summer. These include Bat Walks, where young and old get to see and hear bats in their local communities and a children’s bat talk, where children learn about the world of bats through pictures, video and sounds."

Event details:
- 12th June 2008 - Bat Walk - White Sands, Flagmount (10.15pm)
- 26th June 2008 - Bat Walk - Two Mile Gate/Ballycuggeran, Killaloe (10.15pm)
- 10th July 2008 - Bat Walk - Vandeleur Gardens carpark, Kilrush (10.15pm)
- 17th July 2008 - Bat Walk - riverside carpark, O’ Briensbridge (10.15pm)
- 28th August 2008 - Childrens Bat talk and walk - Clare Museum, Ennis (Talk)/
Abbey Street Carpark, Ennis (Walk) (8pm)

For further details please email


Note to Editor:
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations at 086-8534900 or
- All bats and their roosts are protected by law in Ireland. Therefore you should not do anything to disturb or harm bats or obstruct their roosts without first seeking advice from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The NPWS can be contacted on Lo-call 1890 202021
- The Clare Biodiversity Group manages the Local Biodiversity Action Plan process in Clare. Clare County Council, the Heritage Council, and LEADER support the project. The Clare Biodiversity Action Plan is an action under the County Clare Heritage Plan 2003-2007. For more information log on to

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
00353-868534900 (mobile)
00353-656839692 (fax)
Company: Dunphy Public Relations/Clare Local Authorities
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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