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Eptesicus serotinus

Distribution and abundance; Legal and Conservation Status; Population Trends

The serotine is one of the UK's largest bats and often emerges early in the evening. It has a leisurely flight and feeds around vegetation, along treelines or woodland edges for example. It eats small flies and moths and also larger dung beetles and chafers. It mainly roosts in older houses and buildings that have high gable ends and cavity walls. Data on the population trends of the serotine are collected through the Field Survey and Roost Count. 

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Distribution and abundance

Serotine is an uncommon species, with a distribution mostly limited to areas south of a line drawn from the Wash across to south Wales. More recently, records have also been found in North Wales.

Population estimate 

Note: 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 15,000  15,000 0
 Source  Harris et al. 1995 Harris et al. 1995       


Legal and Conservation Status

All bat species in the UK are legally protected, both by domestic and international legislation.

Click here for a summary table of all legislation and conventions relating to bat species

Serotine colonies are reliant on buildings for roosting, and the population is therefore vulnerable to building development and renovation, exclusion and toxic timber treatment. It is a beetle specialist and factors affecting habitats such as unimproved grassland that support chafer populations may also impact on serotine populations. 


Harris S., Morris, P., Wray, S. & Yalden, D. (1995) A review of British mammals: population estimates and conservation status of British mammals other than cetaceans. JNCC, Peterborough.

Click here to continue to the population trends for serotine 

Return to Species population trends

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Serotine factsheet


Listen to how serotine sounds on a bat detector 



Current distribution of serotine in the UK

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

Serotine distribution



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