Like all species of bat in Britain, the Natterer's bat is less common than it used to be. The reason for its decline is that its food and shelter has been seriously threatened by modern farming practices and destruction of natural habitats.



Natterer's BatOrder: Chiroptera

Family: Vespertilionidae

Species: Myotis nattereri

IUCN Red List Status: Least concern, although becoming scarce in UK

All bat species in the UK are legally protected, both by domestic and international legislation.

Distribution: found throughout Britain & Ireland except Northern Scotland. Also occurs throughout Europe, Asia & Japan.

Habitat: woodland, parkland & farmland.

Size: head & body about 4 to 5cm; up to 30cm wingspan.

Life-span: can live for 25 years.

Description: light brown above, pure white underneath. Quite large, drooping, pale ears with upturned tips. Long, reddish face with bare, narrow muzzle.

Food: small insects.

The Natterer's bat is named after the early 19th century Austrian naturalist who discovered it. If you are bat-watching just after sunset you may be able to identify it from its white underside as it flies slowly at about roof-top level. Whilst it is flying, this bat often points its tail downwards, whereas other bats trail their tail behind them. Also, if you get the chance to examine one closely, Natterer's bat is the only bat with a fringe of tiny hairs along the edge of each tail membrane.

Read More: Hunting and Feeding

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