- There are 18 species of bats resident in the UK (17 of which are known to breed here).
- Bats can live for up to 30 years.
- All of the UK bats species eat insects – a Pipistrelle can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night, they’re great for getting rid of the pests in your garden.
- Bats don’t build nests; they hang upside down or find nooks and crannies to rest or sleep in during the day. This can be in buildings, trees or caves. Bats usually hibernate in winter in sheltered places called hibernacula.
- Bats only usually have one baby each year – called a pup, which is fed on milk from the mother.
- Bats can see as well as you or I can, they use echolocation to find their way in the dark and find food. It’s thought that bats fly at night to avoid predators and take advantage of night flying insects.
- In the UK bats act as insect controllers.
Bats are in decline throughout the UK (Pipistrelle bats have declined by 70% from 1978-1993). This is considered to be caused by a number factors:
- Loss of suitable habitat for feeding and roosting in such as hedgerows, woodlands and ponds which have been torn down to make way for roads and buildings.
- The use of pesticides which reduces the number of insects for bats to feed on and the chemicals used to make them can harm bats themselves.
Bats are vulnerable creatures, and they need our help and there are lots of things that you can do to help them.
Why not join a bat group and find out more about the bats in your area, help to count bats or make your garden a haven for feeding bats.