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Common pipistrelle trends for Great Britain

Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Species factsheetDistribution and abundance

GB-level population trends for common pipistrelle from the Field Survey and the Roost Count are shown on this page.

Population trends are also produced for common pipistrelle at a country-level for England and Scotland. There are currently insufficient data to produce population trends for this species in Wales.

 


Field Survey

GB index of common pipistrelle population from Field Surveys

Common pipistrelle Field Survey GB 2016

Note: The graph above shows the unsmoothed index value for each year (green crosses), the smoothed trend (solid line) and 95% confidence intervals (dotted lines). The smoothed trend for 2016 is shown as a dashed line to indicate that it is provisional.

The smoothed index is currently 82.1% above the 1999 base year value, equivalent to an annual increase of 3.6%. The trend has increased consistently since monitoring began. There has been a significant increase in the smoothed index since the baseline year. There are no significant differences between trends in England, Wales and Scotland.

Data from 626 sites surveyed between 1998 and 2016 contribute to the overall trend.

 


Roost Count

GB index of common pipistrelle population from Roost Counts

Common pipistrelle roost count trend GB

Note: The graph above shows the unsmoothed index value for each year (green crosses), the smoothed trend (solid line) and 95% confidence intervals (dotted lines). The smoothed trend for 2016 is shown as a dashed line to indicate that it is provisional.

The smoothed index is currently 58% below the 1999 base year value, equivalent to an annual decrease of 5%. There has been a significant decline in the smoothed index since 1999. However it is likely that this species' frequent roost switching results in a negative bias in the Roost Count trend (see Robustness of Monitoring) and this trend is not therefore considered a reliable measure of population change for this species. We are currently investigating the causes of this negative bias in more detail and exploring ways to correct it (see Developments and Future Directions). There are no significant differences between trends for England, Scotland and Wales.

Data from 489 sites surveyed between 1997 and 2016 contribute to the trend (sites surveyed in two or more years).

 


Summary of survey results

The trend from the Field Survey shows a significant increase in the smoothed index since the baseline year, while the trend from the Roost Count shows a significant decline. However the Roost Count trend is not considered a reliable measure of population change for common pipistrelle, therefore the population of common pipistrelle in Great Britain is considered to have increased since 1999.

 


Distribution and abundance

Common pipistrelle is common and widespread throughout the UK. 

Population estimate 

The population estimates are considered to be poor and should be treated with caution. Estimates are based on very limited population data and rely on expert opinion only.

Country

UK

England

Wales

Scotland

N.Ireland

Number

2,430,000

unknown

 unknown

unknown 

1,150,000

 Source

 Battersby et al. 2005
(incl N. Ireland)

 

 

 

 Russ 1999

 


References

Battersby. J. (Ed) & Tracking Mammals Partnership. (2005) UK Mammals Species Status and Population Trends. First Report by the Tracking Mammals Partnership. JNCC/Tracking Mammals Partnership, Peterborough.

Russ, J.M. 1999. The Microchiroptera of Northern Ireland: community composition, habitat associations and ultrasound. Unpublished PhD thesis. Queen’s University, Belfast.

 


Return to:

Top of pageSpecies population trendsReport HomeContents page

 

 

Common pipistrelle factsheet

 

Listen to how common pipistrelle sounds on a bat detector 

 

 

Current distribution of common pipistrelle in the UK

(Map taken from 3rd Report under Article 17 on implementation of the Habitats Directive in the UK, JNCC 2013)

Common pipistrelle distribution 

 

 

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