Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

Grey Long-eared Bat

Plecotus austriacus

Females have
pup a year
maternity colonies left in England
Only about
bats left in the UK

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 we will help the Grey Long-eared Bat

This Back from the Brink project, led by the Bat Conservation Trust, will work with landowners to discover how to retain and enhance the precious habitats that the bats need. We want to find ways to connect the patches that remain, and keep these grasslands in good health.

We want to inspire people to provide the bats with a secure home. We will give talks, walks and farm open days to help people understand these animals and what they need. And we’ll provide support and advice to help them to achieve it. We’ll also work with local authorities to ensure the needs of these bats are considered in planning how land is used.

What we’re aiming for

By the end of the project, we aim to have raised understanding of Grey Long-eared Bats and their needs, making sure they have good quality habitat. This species is an indicator of the health of these landscapes, and this work is essential to prevent it from being lost.

How to get involved

Can you help us to monitor the Grey Long-eared Bats, or can you help to ensure they have the habitat they desperately need?

You can get the latest news, and find out more about upcoming events, by following the links below.

GLEB - credited 1024
A grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus) emerges from its roost in a barn in Devon, England to hunt on a summer night. This photograph was taken as part of the Back from the Brink project and was taken ethically using red light fliters to avoid disturbance to the bats. The grey long-eared bat is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN and is Britain’s rarest breeding bat.
Grey long-eared bat - Daniel Hargreaves (imaged already credited)
Grey Long-eared Bat Flickr Jan Svetlik (CC BY-NC-ND-2.0) 1024

Project contact

Craig Dunton

Project Officer
07807 215270

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We are working with some of the most endangered species in England. With your help we can do even more to save them.

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