Bat Surveying in Indre et Loire

All bat species are protected in France. To monitor their population they are surveyed twice a year in Indre et Loire. The surveys take place in January when the bats are hibernating and in June, when they are breeding. To participate you must be a member of a bat conservation group and be accompanied by at least one person with a 'bat licence' as it is illegal to disturb bats. Surveys around Preuilly-sur-Claise are organised by Virginie Culicchi and Jean-Claude Jacques on behalf of the Groupe Chiroptères d'Indre et Loire. Bat is chauve-souris in French.

A bat hibernating in a cave (abandoned limestone quarry).
This privately owned 14th century chateau is home to half a dozen species of bat, both in the cellars and in this tower. There is a lot of evidence of bat occupancy (ie bat poo) in upper rooms of the tower. The bats use the tower mainly as a summer roost. In the winter you need to look for them in the cellars.
Sandstone caves (abandoned underground quarries) on the estate of a privately owned chateau, occupied by half a dozen species of bat.

This privately owned chateau is the winter hibernation site for 7 species of bat, mainly in the cellars and stables and the maternity roost for at least one species, in the roofspace of the chateau itself. It is one of the best sites in the Touraine for bats.

Beetle elytra (wing cases) on the floor of a cave (abandoned underground quarry) is a sure sign a large species (Greater Horseshoe or Large Mouse-eared bat) has been roosting here and feeding. The beetle remains mostly belonged to Dor Beetle. Finding signs of bat activity is as important as seeing the bats themselves when surveying.

References and Further Reading:

Bat Surveying in the Touraine Loire Valley, a post from our daily blog Days on the Claise.

Hanging from the Ceiling, from Days on the Claise.

Bats Spurn the Belfries, from Days on the Claise.

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