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'Lost' bats found breeding on Scilly
Date:6/17/2011

m. This includes planting the tree species that attract night-flying insects, restricting lighting in key areas as it discourages the bats from coming out to feed, and ensuring that new trees are planted to replace the dying ones along the coastline.

"In addition, much can be done to provide suitable places for them to have their babies. Bats can live for over 20 years but breed very slowly. Because they do not build nests, the mothers must find locations which will keep their babies warm during the night whilst the adults leave the roost to feed. They will happily use lofts and bat boxes, as well as tree holes. The last known colony on the Isles of Scilly disappeared when their roosting site in a building was lost and now we have a chance to reverse their fortunes."

Mike Gurr, Chair of the Scilly Isles Bat Group added: "Since the formation of the IOS Bat Group in 2006, we have had sound evidence only for common pipistrelles being permanent residents and breeding in Scilly. This joint research project has confirmed the long-suspected presence of soprano pipistrelles as well but, most exciting of all, we now know for sure that we have brown long-eared bats living and breeding here. The work demonstrates what several people had long felt to be the case but could not prove. Studying these lovely creatures will be one of the IOS Bat Group's priorities for the next few years".

About brown long-eared bats (Plecotus auritus)

  • Brown long-eared bats have ears that are three quarters the length of their head and body
  • The bats fold their ears over when they are resting
  • They fly close to the ground so are vulnerable to predation from domestic cats
  • Their diet is largely composed of moths and caterpillars
  • The brown long-eared bat is one of 18 bat species known to live in the UK.


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Contact: Sarah Hoyle
s.hoyle@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-272-2062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

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