Bechstein's bat

Bechstein's bat ©Susan Makepeace

Bechstein's Bat

Scientific name: Myotis bechsteinii
The Bechstein's Bat is a very rare bat that lives in woodland and roosts in old woodpecker holes or tree crevices. Like other bats, the females form 'maternity colonies' to have their pups.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 4.3-5.3cm
Wingspan: 25-30cm
Weight: 7-13g
Average lifespan: up to 21 years

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. European Protected Species under Annex IV of the European Habitats Directive. Listed as Near Threatened on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

When to see

April to October

About

Found almost exclusively in woodland, Bechstein's Bat is one of our rarest bats. All UK bats are nocturnal, feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects that they find in the dark by using echolocation. Bechstein's Bats hibernate over the winter. Mating occurs in autumn and spring, with maternity colonies forming in April and May; between 10 to 30 females gather together, but colonies can number up to 100 in some cases. Pups are born in June and July.

How to identify

The Bechstein's Bat has a pink face, long ears that are clearly separated at the forehead, reddish-brown fur on its back, and a pale grey belly.

Distribution

Very rare, found in parts of southern Wales and southern England.

Did you know?

Bechstein’s Bats have very quiet echolocation, so are difficult to detect. The frequency of most calls is 50kHz.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.