Greater Mouse-Eared Bat – Myotis myotis
Habitat: Deciduous Woodlands, Meadows, Pastures
Description: Large bat with extremely long ears.
Size: Largest of the all the British bats
Origin & Distribution: Native. Restricted to a single hectad in England containing several hibernation sites used by the same individual. This site previously maintained a hibernation population of up to 30 bats, however, this declined to a single male by 1985. The single male was recorded annually until 1990. A Dorset population discovered in 1956 was no longer present by 1980. Isolated records have occurred; a male in Kent in 1985 and a female in Bognor Regis in 2001. No records exist for Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.
Diet: Unknown foraging ecology in the UK, however, elsewhere in Europe their diet consists of large beetles, caterpillars, maybugs, and crickets.
General Ecology: Prey are caught off the ground, requiring deciduous woodlands to have little ground vegetation, or in recently mown or grazed meadows. It hibernates in tunnels and caves. Only hibernation sites are known in the UK and all are underground locations.
Breeding: In Europe, maternity roots are in large roof spaces and caves, and colonies are comprised of many hundred individuals. No breeding sites have been identified in the UK.
Conservation Status: The greater mouse-eared bat is classified as critically endangered in England and Great Britain. The species has not been declared extinct due to a lack of exhaustive searches to find remaining individuals. Exhaustive searches have not been carried out in potential summer roosting locations or swarming sites.
Largest of the British bats. It has extremely long ears that are not joined at the base. This species is unlikely to be confused with any other bat species in the UK.
Range: 22-86 kHz
Most energy: 37 kHz
Average duration: 6.0 ms
Other myotis bat species and Plecotus austriacus (grey long-eared bat).