Ireland’s First-Ever Virtual Bat Walk to take place in Limerick 

Virtual Bat Walk

Virtual Bat Walk by Limerick City European Green Leaf 2020 team at Limerick City and County Council will be Ireland’s first-ever virtual Bat Walk.

Ireland’s First-Ever Virtual Bat Walk to take place in Limerick 

The Limerick City European Green Leaf 2020 team at Limerick City and County Council is delighted to announce Ireland’s first-ever virtual Bat Walk. 

The Virtual Bat Walk is a collaborative project between the Council and Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) and will be launched on Limerick EGLA2020 YouTube Channel on Friday, June 5 at 8 pm during European Green Week.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Ireland’s only nocturnal, flying mammals from the comfort of your own home. Bat experts Dr Kate McAney and Ruth Hanniffy will talk and walk you through the different bat species in Limerick, their habitats and feeding habits. 

Bats feed on midges and even the smallest pipistrelle bat can eat between three and five thousand midges in one night. The virtual bat walk will be freely available to all as part of Limerick City’s European Green Leaf programme of events for 2020. 

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Sheahan said “This is a wonderfully innovative way to learn about our only flying mammal during Limerick’s European Green Leaf Year. They are amazing creatures and always elicit a sense of awe and wonder when you see them in the night sky.

With the restrictions imposed due to Covid-19, our wildlife has had time to flourish, while we have had longer to just sit and admire our beautiful landscape, flora and fauna. This is another opportunity, thanks to our designation as European Green Leaf City for 2020.” 

Dr Kate McAney, Head of the VWT’s Conservation Department in Ireland said: “‘Although it’s hard to substitute the fun and pleasure of going out on a bat walk we hope this virtual adventure will bring these amazing animals to life. We are grateful to all our contributors”. 

ABOUT Vincent Wildlife Trust 

Vincent Wildlife Trust has been playing a key role in bat conservation in the Republic of Ireland since 1991. Between the years 1991-1994, in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Trust funded a full-time Bat Conservation Officer, based in Galway city, but who travelled throughout the country promoting bat education and conservation measures. 

The Trust has maintained a permanent presence in Ireland since 1995. VWT staff work independently but are in close liaison with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The majority of our work has been focussed on the bat species in Ireland, and in particular the lesser horseshoe bat. 

The Trust was responsible for the first all-Ireland otter survey conducted in 1980/81. Since 2011 we have been working on other mammal species including the Irish stoat and the pine marten. Where a need is identified, the Trust will initiate a research programme that will support other bodies working to safeguard the future of all mammals in Ireland. 

Currently, the Trusts work focuses on: 

·             creating and managing reserves for the lesser horseshoe bat; 

·             promoting mammal conservation and research; 

·             offering bat-related advice to the general public, local authorities, consultants and professional groups; 

·             offering advice to the general public on the pine marten and Irish stoat. 

For more information about European Green Leaf events, log on to Limerick.ie/European-Green-Leaf-City 

For more stories on European Green Leaf, click here.

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