27th January 7:30pm to 9:30pm Gresham Village Hall (Hybrid Hall/Zoom event)

A bonus double talk this month around the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. This is an international collaborative network of researchers that use automated radio telemetry to simultaneously track hundreds of individuals of numerous species of birds, bats, and insects enabling impactful research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals. Jane Harris will focus on the work of the Norwich Bat Group and its involvement with Motus and Ewan Parsons on how Motus has been deployed by key Bird Observatories.

Jane will cover the ecology and migratory behaviour of Nathusius’ pipistrelle and show how Norwich Bat Group has contributed to our understanding of the status of this species in Norfolk. The importance of the East Anglian coast for migrating bats and their collaboration with Wageningen University on bat migration research will be described, including the challenges of trapping and radiotagging migrants, some exciting results and more questions to answer in future work.

Ewan will describe how the Motus network has grown in the UK, how it's likely to expand especially at the Bird Observatories and other ringing sites. He'll also show examples of the types of information that Motus can provide and will finish up talking about new technologies that are just around the corner including the Tera system and some of the insights that it may provide.

Jane says: “I have been a consultant ecologist for 28 years, but increasingly specialising in bats. As well as professional bat work, I am a Natural England Voluntary Bat Roost Visitor, a registered bat carer with the Bat Conservation Trust, projects officer for the Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group and Norwich Bat Group officer for the National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project. I hold a Natural England Level 4 licence and have undertaken radiotagging and radiotracking of several bat species over the years, especially the rare barbastelle. Since early 2019, I have been involved with setting up the MOTUS telemetry network on the East Anglian coast and in radiotagging potential migrant bats as part of a collaborative research project with Wageningen University.”

Ewan says: “My involvement with birding and bats comes through my wife Sue who for almost 40 years worked for RSPB, the Nature Conservancy Council including its more recent reincarnations, RSPB and as a consultant ecologist. We moved to NE Norfolk in 1995 when I started work at Bacton Gas Terminal, and Sue undertook early survey work at Paston Barn. I am a licensed radio amateur and have always had an interest in how new technologies can be applied to conservation. Since retiring at the end of 2018 I've built and installed all the Bird Observatory Motus receivers as well as supporting all the WUR receivers in East Anglia. I am technical advisor to the UK Motus Steering Group.”

Please let us know on nenbc@aol.co.uk if you need the Zoom link sent to you - we normally send it out a day or so before the event. We would also appreciate it if you could give us a heads up if you are planning to attend in person at the hall as it helps with our planning, however if you do decide on the night you fancy a trip out, you would still be very welcome so please just come along!

GRESHAM VILLAGE HALL, Church Lane, Gresham, Norfolk, NR11 8RT but note THE PUBLISHED POSTCODE MIGHT NOT TAKE YOU TO EXACTLY THE RIGHT SPOT! Access to the hall car park is actually off East Beckham Road, opposite the church, there is additional parking along the side of the church itself and an overflow car park has kindly been offered to us by Gresham Village School. The school car park is located on Cromer Road to the left of the school as you face it and at the left-hand end of the row of houses – about a 300m walk from the hall. Please park considerately to allow maximum number of cars in the car parks and on the road but with enough space for passing traffic to be able to get through. We can send you a map of the locality on request.