About Bats

Bats are probably the most mysterious and fascinating mammals in Britain.

 

Being small, active at night, living in crevices and other secret places and spending most of their lives hibernating or asleep, bats are very difficult to study. 

 

However, their reputation for being scary or weird is undeserved, and as people learn more about them and understand them they find just how well evolved and interesting bats are.

 

All British bats are insectivorous, and it is the lack of flying insects in the winter that forces them to hibernate from about November to March.

 

Females congregate in maternity roosts in early summer and produce one baby each year, which they suckle for about 6 weeks. Baby bats start to eat insects, brought to the roost by their mother, from about 3 weeks of age.  Bats return to their traditional roosts year after year, but may use different roosts at various times of the year.

 

There are 18 species of bat in the UK.  One species is virtually extinct and two are classed as endangered. Nine others are considered to be threatened. 

Nine species are found in Scotland:

 

  • Soprano Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus)

  • Bandit Pipistrelle    (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)

  • Brown Long-eared (Plecotus auritus)

  • Whiskered (Myotis mystacinus)

  • Brandt’s (myotis brandtii)

  • Daubenton’s  (Myotis daubentonii)

  • Natterer’s (Myotis natteri)

  • Noctule (Nyclatus noctula)

  • Leisler’s (Nyctalus leisleri)

 

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