Myotis mystacinus

Range & Status

Before 1970 Whiskered and Brandt' s bats, which are difficult to tell apart, were regarded as a single species, the Whiskered Bat, and are still sometimes recorded as Whiskered/Brandt' s. Consequently, the current situation regarding the distribution of the Whiskered Bat is not entirely clear. With the exception of the more northerly regions, this species is widespread throughout Europe with the main concentration in the central region. It is scattered throughout England and Wales with a smaller number in Scotland and is probably declining. The suggested population is 30,500 for England, 1500 for Scotland and 8,000 for Wales (Harris et al ., 1995).

Regional Distribution

Although widespread in Cornwall the numbers are unknown but it is considered to be locally common. Between 1980 and 1996 it was recorded in 9 1km squares whilst from 2000-2008 this had increased to 25 1km squares. This apparent increase is likely to be due to the limitations and variables listed in the Introduction plus better recognition and recording of closely related Brandt' s bats, rather than real increase.

Habitat & Ecology

Meadows, gardens, villages, parks, woodland edge and hedgerows are the main hunting grounds. In summer it roosts mainly in buildings, occasionally trees, and hibernates in mines or caves in winter.

Threats

See Introduction. Disturbance in roosts and inappropriate woodland management.

Conservation

Extensive legal protection detailed in Introduction. At low risk of extinction worldwide (IUCN status, 2001).