What is a Grey Long-eared Bat?
These enchanting little creatures are among the UK’s rarest mammals. They are intelligent animals which hunt for moths and other insects by night over wildflower meadows along the south coast of England. They are long-lived and social, the females giving birth to their single babies in maternity roosts. But there could be as few as 1,000 of these bats left, and we know their numbers are still falling.
Why are they in trouble?
The kind of grassland these bats need has been lost from most of our countryside in the last century, and the elements they require in the landscape have become more fragmented. This makes it more difficult for them to find safe routes between their roosts and the places where they can find food, and so, they are struggling to survive.
How have we helped the Grey Long-eared Bat
This Back from the Brink project, was led by the Bat Conservation Trust. We worked with landowners to discover how to retain and enhance the precious habitats that the bats need.
During the period of the project we have:
- Enhanced foraging habitat on over 80 hectares of land through grey long-eared bat range in Devon.
- Increased awareness of the species on over 200 landholdings
- Improved monitoring to establish long-term population trends
We also worked alongside the local communities. We have:
- Provided over 60 events for the wider community
- Trained or engaged over 80 volunteers in species monitoring, data analysis and leading bat walks
Did we achieve what we were aiming for?
I’m delighted to say that we did! We have raised awareness and understanding of grey long-eared bats and their needs and ensured that the habitats around their roosts are improving to support where they feed. We have also helped to improve the habitats between roosts so the colonies can be connected.
If you would like to find out more about the work that we did then check out our project report.
Is that the end?
This species is an indicator of the health of these landscapes and we need to continue to work to support this very vulnerable and special species to ensure it continues to grace our countryside and communities into the future.
Currently there is a follow-on project underway in East Devon and Dorset and details can be found here. This project will end in early 2022.
Back from the Brink Innovations Conference Presentation
Species Recovery and Management - Farmland and Bareground