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Are you interested in bats? Would you like to find out more about these creatures of the night?  As part of the Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady Biodiversity Project three 'Bat Nights' has been organised to introduce people to these misunderstood flying mammals, and to reveal the truth about some of the 'Old Wives Tales' associated with them!

Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer explained, "Bats are shy and unobtrusive animals, seen only in the dim light at dusk.  Their wings make them look bigger than they really are, and as they swoop down after insects, people may sometimes feel uneasy.  Just not knowing much about them leads to misconceptions."

Dispelling a couple of the most common myths about bats, Rachel says, "Bats are not blind – they actually have good eyesight; and, bats will not drink your blood, - well at least the ones we get in Northern Ireland don't!  To find out more about our bats, please come along on the evening."

Karen Healy, North West representative for the Northern Ireland Bat Group says "We are delighted to be involved with this biodiversity project.  The bat event will allow beginners and experts to get involved in bat detecting and conservation. The talk and guided walk will help to dispel common myths, discuss the conservation issues and explore what local action can be taken to help bats."

Thurs 8th Sept, 7.30pm, Gelnullin Resource Centre, Glenullin, Garvagh
Thurs 15th Sept, 7.30pm, Visitors Centre, Roe Valley Country Park, Limavady*
Thurs 29th Sept, 7.30pm, Ballymoney Townhall, Ballymoney

*(Please note: the Limavady event is in partnership with NIEA and must be booked with Roe Valley Country Park, T: 028 7772 2074)

There will be a few bat detectors available which convert the high pitched calls of the bats used for echo location, to a lower frequency audible to humans.  Each species calls at a particular range of frequencies, making various noises described as 'smacks', 'slaps', 'clicks' and 'ticks'.  By reading the frequency on the detector, and listening to their calls, the species of bat can be identified.

Rachel adds, "Bats are one of those creatures that probably everyone has seen, but about which we know very little.  Events like this are an ideal opportunity for anyone that is even a little curious about bats, to come along and discover more about these mystifying animals."

If you are interested in finding out more about bats, Rachel would be delighted to see you on the night. (Please wear suitable clothing and a torch would be useful.)  For further information on this event, or if you are interested in the Ballymoney, Coleraine & Limavady Biodiversity Project in general, please contact:   Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer, 
Tel: 028 7034 7272, or by e-mail: rachel.bain@colerainebc.gov.uk or log on to www.colerainebc.gov.uk or www.biodiversityni.com