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Rare Bat roost found at Attenborough

Thursday 10th October

Rare Bat roost found at Attenborough

A rare migratory bat, the Nathusius’ pipistrelle, has been discovered roosting for the first time in Nottinghamshire.

A male and female of this small bat species have been found settled in a bat box at our Attenborough Nature Reserve.

The Nathusius’ pipistrelle is a rarely recorded migrant bat which is increasingly being recorded at wetland sites throughout England; however very few mating roosts have ever been located.  Males will occupy roost sites at this time of year and sing to attract female bats.
 
This is a very exciting find. We had suspected that this species were breeding somewhere on or near the reserve, but no-one could find any evidence. We erected several bat boxes, and I recently noticed several droppings on the ground below one of them – a good sign! So we invited a bat expert from the Nottinghamshire Bat Group to inspect, who confirmed that not only was it definitely a bat roost, it was the Nathusius’ pipistrelle – a first for Attenborough!

Despite weighing under 10g (about the same as a 50p piece) the Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat is capable of flying incredible distances with some individuals migrating to the UK for the winter from as far away as Scandinavia. The bats are often found near water and use river corridors as a feature to migrate and feed along. Their voracious appetite means that they can consume around 3000 insects in a single night.

This discovery makes Attenborough only the second site in Nottinghamshire where Nathusisus’ pipistrelles have been seen during the summer – the other being our Skylarks Reserve near Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham.  They have been recorded at other sites in Nottinghamshire during the peak migration time in September.

With seven of the UK’s 17 breeding bat species regularly recorded at Attenborough Nature Reserve, the reserve is a perfect starting point to spark an interest in these rarely seen nocturnal mammals. Throughout the autumn, bats will begin to concentrate on building up their fat reserves to see them through the winter, so will be more visible as they’ll be feeding more regularly.

Click here to find out more about bats

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