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Bats in Scotland

There are currently 10 species of bat native to Scotland. Our most widespread species are the Soprano pipistrelle and Common pipistrelle, which can often be seen at dusk feeding in/around woodland, grasslands, hedgerows and open water. Less common are the Daubenton's bat, Natterer's bat and Brown long-eared bat, which can be found in woodland areas. Our rarest bats include the Whiskered/Brandt's bat, Nathusius pipistrelle, Leisler's bat and Noctule bat.

Nine of these species have been recorded within the Clyde region, including Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire. Their indicative distribution based on NBN Atlas data is shown in the graphics below for information.

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Soprano pipistrelle: one of our most widespread species of bat in Scotland. Soprano pipistrelle forage over wetlands; as well as around woodland edges, tree lines, hedgerows and in suburban gardens and parks.

Common pipistrelle: another one of our most widespread species of bat in Scotland. Common pipistrelle forage in a range of habitats including woodland, hedgerows, grassland, farmland, sub-urban and also urban areas.

Nathusius pipistrelle: one of the rarest species of bat in Scotland that can be found foraging over rivers, canals, lochs and wetlands; as well as in woodland rides and edges.

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Daubenton's bat: a relatively widespread species in Scotland found foraging close to the water, and known from scooping prey directly from the water surface using their tail membrane.

Natterer's bat: a relatively scarce species in Scotland most frequently found foraging in woodlands. Their broad wings help them fly slowly to take prey directly from foliage, including spiders from their webs.

Whiskered bat: one of our rarest species of bat in Scotland; and extremely similar in appearance to the Brandt's bat. They tend to fly along familiar routes and forage in woodland areas, often gliding for brief moments in the tree canopy.

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Brown long-eared bat: a relatively widespread bat that is strongly associated with woodland areas. Their huge ears enable them to detect prey by listening for their sounds instead of using their echolocation.

Leisler's bat: a rare bat in Scotland. They usually fly high and fast near tree tops, with shallow dives for prey. In sub-urban areas they may be attracted to insects around street lights.

Noctule bat: a rare species in Scotland but one of the biggest bats that can be found in the UK. They have a fast and direct flight, and often fly over tree tops and diving steeply for prey.

IMPORTANT: NBN Atlas data has not been verified by Clyde Bat Group and is provided for information only. We cannot be help responsible for any direct or indirect losses arising from any action(s) taken in relation to the use of the above NBN Atlas data. Note that the absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence. Approriate credit to source data providers is provided below.

NBN Atlas source data download at https://nbnatlas.org (accessed on Fri Mar 25 22:00:54 UTC 2022) using the following search term(s): "vespertilionidae".

Under the terms of creative commons licensing, we acknowledge NBN Atlas source data was provided by the following: Bat Conservation Trust, Bats and the Millennium Link, Biological Records Centre, British Trust for Ornithology, Glasgow Museums Biological Records Centre, National Trust for Scotland, NatureScot, Nocturne Environmental Surveyors Ltd, Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Mammal Society, The Wildlife Information Centre and Wild Surveys Ltd.

Mapping produced under Open Database Licence using OpenStreetMap and its contributors (2022); and using the Field Studies Council's Tom.bio plugin for QGIS.