Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 17:53 UK

Favourite haunts of bats studied

Pipistrelle bat
Volunteers will listen for bats flying and feeding

Volunteers are to be handed bat detectors as a conservation group maps where the creatures like to feed and live in Dundee.

Surveying work will be going on until the end of September and it is hoped the whole city can be covered.

The aim of the study is to identify and safeguard bat "hotspots" and improve other wildlife areas.

There are five species of bats in the Dundee area and like all those resident in the UK they are legally protected.

The five species are: two types of pipistrelle; brown longeared bats; Daubenton's; and Natterer's.

'Scary stories'

Volunteers will be given an area of Dundee to patrol, stopping at certain points for two minutes to listen to the bat detector.

The device gives out different sounds if the bat is flying or feeding.

Anne Youngman, from the Bat Conservation Trust, said volunteers would have to go out at sunset into all parts of Dundee.

Ms Youngman wants people to put any misguided fear about bats to one side.

She said: "The main reason [people fear bats] is because we don't know much about them, and if you don't know much about something it's really easy to believe in scary stories like Dracula and vampires and spooky castles.

"So by finding out a bit more, hopefully people can have a more positive attitude towards them."

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