There are four project objectives and these are married with their definitions of success as follows: –
Objective: The production of a handbook that describes the Potential Roost Features (PRF) that are commonly encountered on, amongst and in natural and semi-natural surface, subsurface and subterranean rock habitats. The purpose of the handbook will be to inform targeted searches for PRF.
How the objective will be achieved: The production of the handbook will be achieved as follows:
Step 1 – Published descriptions of surface, subsurface and subterranean rock habitats will be read to identify and name the broad rock landforms, the rocks they are made of, their formation and structure. This information will be collated into an identification guide.
Step 2 – Visiting surface, subsurface and subterranean rock habitats to identify and describe all obvious features and environmental situations commonly encountered in and on them.
Step 3 – Producing a set of technical terms and language to describe the attributes of the habitats and PRF.
Definition of success: The definition of success will be a set of detailed accounts, comprising: location; landform; rock; formation; structure and environment, with all the habitats and PRF accompanied by illustrative photographs and figures.
Objective: The collation of published descriptions of bat roosting ecology on, amongst and in natural and semi-natural rock habitats.
How the objective will be achieved: The descriptions will be achieved as follows:
Step 1 – Published accounts will be obtained, read and catalogued.
Step 2 – Information that has a practical application will be collated and written as a helpful narrative.
Step 3 – The narrative will be presented in a format suitable for practical application with illustrative photographs and figures.
Definition of success: The definition of success will be a single overarching document that includes as a minimum: a) a summary of what is confidently known about roosting ecology for each bat species, and what is not known; b) the identification of environmental variables that influence bat roost presence; c) a summary of pre-existing recording methods and criteria that might be adopted for this project; d) the identification of equipment and recording values that have been successfully applied across multiple studies, and might therefore be adopted for this project; and, e) the identification of new equipment and recording methods that might be used to further investigate roosting ecology.
Objective: The production and maintenance of an online open-access database that will serve to fill gaps in knowledge and have a practical application for: a) the prediction of which PRF are likely to occur in a specific landform of a specific rock; b)the prediction of the potential for a specific PRF in a specific rock habitat to be occupied by a specific bat species; and, c) the creation of entirely artificial sites.
How the objective will be achieved: The database will be achieved as follows:
Step 1 – Recording criteria will be defined for surface, subsurface and subterranean habitats and the PRF they offer.
Step 2 – A database framework will be devised in Excel format.
Step 3 – The recording criteria will be field-tested and the data input into the Excel framework to ensure the overall database functions.
Step 4 – The initial databases will be offered online as an open access resource.
Step 5 – Recording forms and a facility for the submission of data will be offered online.
Definition of success: The provision of a functional online open-access database that may be accessed and contributed to by anyone.
Objective: Securing project funding.
How the objective will be achieved: The funding will be gained through the production and sale of a single overarching handbook for: a) assessing the importance of natural and semi-natural rock habitats for bats, including the identification of monitoring thresholds that will determine the suitability of a specific feature / situation to hold a specific bat species; and, b) artificially creating rock habitats for specific bat species.
The manual will be achieved through: a) securing Objectives 1, 2 and 3; b) the project coordinator(s) committing to writing the manual free of charge; and, c) finding a publisher.
Definition of success: The definition of success will be a complete field-guide sized handbook published and distributed for sale.