Common names: Whiskered Bat, Brandt's Bat, Natterer's Bat, Daubenton's Bat, Noctule Bat, Leisler's Bat, 45kHz Pipistrelle Bat, 55kHz Pipistrelle Bat, Brown Long-eared Bat, Lesser Horseshoe Bat

Latin names: Myotis mystacinus, Myotis brandtii, Myotis battereri, Myotis daubentonii, Nyctalus noctula, Nyctalus leisleri, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Pipistrellus pygmaeus, Plecotus auritus, Rhinolophus hipposideros

Seventeen bat species are resident in the UK with eight species regularly recorded in the Yorkshire Dales.  All bats in the UK are nocturnal and insectivorous and require an abundance of insect prey to satisfy their large appetites. The pipistrelle bat, for example, reportedly catches over 3,000 insects each night.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park provides a range of important roosting environments for a number of bat species. These habitats include old buildings, caves and old trees. The river habitat of the Yorkshire Dales also supports large numbers of bats, particularly within the small gaps and cracks of stone bridges. The soprano and common pipistrelle bats are the most likely species to be encountered in the Yorkshire Dales and may be found roosting and feeding in a wide range of habitats particularly where there is some woodland cover.

Many of the cave systems in the National Park are nationally important for swarming and hibernating bats. In late summer, bats from a wide geographical area will congregate in order to mate, before going deeper into the cave systems to hibernate. Some bats in the Yorkshire Dales have been known to travel over 30km from summer roosts sites to swarming and hibernation sites.

In 2013 habitat suitability modelling research was carried out for bats in the National Park.

At risk?

All bats in the UK are protected by law. Noctule Bat, Brown Long-eared Bat and Soprano pipistrelle bat  are also on the list of priority species for biodiversity action in the National Park.

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Still summer’s song beats in my blood Alan Hartley

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