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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 August 2007, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Camera plan for hotel bat colony
Bodidris Hall
The bats were discovered at the hotel in 1997
A Denbigshire hotel is planning to install infrared cameras to show visitors its rare colony of 160 lesser horseshoe bats.

The mammals live in an old stables block of Bodidris Hall at Llandegla, near Wrexham.

The tiny bats, which have become extinct in northern England and the North Midlands, are rare in the UK with only an estimated 14,000 left.

The camera's pictures could be shown in the hotel's rooms and on the web.

Manager Ed Duley said the bats lived in an unoccupied building in the hotel's grounds.

"They are away from the main hotel so I only see them for an hour at dusk and then they go back in," he said.

A lesser horseshoe bat
The bats are a European protected species

"I wasn't aware how rare they were - there is quite a national following for this kind of thing."

Matthew Ellis, regional bat monitor for the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), said the infrared cameras would helip with monitoring the bats, which have grown in number since around 60 were first discovered in 1997.

"The population size is of national significance and it is encouraging they are continuing to thrive," he said.

"They don't cause any damage and keep themselves to themselves.

"It is one of approximately 10 nursery roosts in north east Wales.

"Bats need an appropriate location for raising young, with access to foraging habitats and access to caves and mines for hibernation."

He added the bats were being monitored twice or three times a year and the colony had benefited from a "good partnership project" with the hotel owners.




SEE ALSO
Special bridges to save rare bats
29 Mar 07 |  South East Wales
Gold mines valuable to rare bats
07 Mar 05 |  North West Wales

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