Local bat experts released a Soprano Pipistrelle bat, Pipistrellus pygmaeus, in the Garden on Saturday 11th May. The bat had been discovered by Robert Unwin on 12th April. When is had not moved over the weekend it became clear it was in need of assistance. Botanics staff member, and bat enthusiast, David Braidwood helped with the transfer to the East Lothian Bat Hospital. “The bat was probably tempted out by the warm weather and then found it difficult to hunt insects due to the wind” said David. “When bats can’t feed they quickly become exhausted and the bat hospital seemed the only hope for this bat.”
On a diet of meal worms the bat made a good recovery and was released at 9.15 in good weather conditions. To the satisfaction of all involved the bat started hunting and catching insects straight away, clearly none the worse for its ordeal.
“We don’t know much about the bats of the Garden and this has been a great opportunity to learn more” said David. “We initially thought this was a Bandit Pipistrelle which finds prey by echolocation at 45 kHz, but examination in the hospital showed that we actually had a male Soprano Pipistrelle that echolocates at 55 kHz.”
On the evening of 21st June the Botanics is running a BioBlitz to discover as much as possible about the wildlife that lives in the Garden. The evening will include a bat survey and more details can be found at http://www.rbge.org.uk/whats-on/bioblitz
If you discover an injured or sick bat details of what to do can be found at the Bat Conservation Trust website http://www.bats.org.uk