In September 2014 Rachel joined a bat research trip to one of the Greek islands, Ikaria, led by Greena Ecological Consultancy. Since then she has joined in with other research trips to Chios, Kos, Andros, and Lesvos, and hopes to join future trips too!
The aim of these research trips is to compile a list of bat species for each of the islands visited. Many islands have limited and/or old records and as a result many of the species that have been identified either in the hand, by echolocation or using DNA samples are new records for the islands. The purpose of gathering these records is for future reference and baseline assessments, particularly in regards to Natura 2000 sites, of which there are many designated sites throughout Greece.
During each trip mist nets and harp traps are used to capture and identify bats in the hand, sound recordings are taken for further analysis and to compile a reference library, and daytime investigations are made into buildings, caves, and mines to search for potential roost locations. Once captured, bats in the hand are sexed, weighed, and have their measurements taken alongside looking at other identification features; however, identification is confirmed by DNA sampling.
Trips so far include: