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About Bats


Brown long-eared (Hugh Clark)Bats are fascinating animals – the only true flying mammal.  There are over 1,300 species of bats in the world, and more are still being discovered. Bats account for more than a quarter of mammal species in the UK and around 20% of all mammal species worldwide.

Bats play an essential part in the natural world and are indicators of a healthy environment. Their future is directly linked to our quality of life and the quality of our environment.

Approximately 25% of the world's bats are threatened with extinction. A least 12 bat species in the world, such as the Puerto Rican flower bat, have already become extinct. In the UK, bats face threats ranging from predation to crime and loss of habitat. UK bats and their roosts are protected by law.

In the UK, the Bat Conservation Trust, nearly 100 local bat groups and thousands of volunteers work to care for bats, monitor bat populations, create bat-friendly gardens and answer questions about these amazing creatures. Join us today!

Fun facts about bats

  • Common pipistrelle in flight (Hugh Clark)All UK bat species use echolocation to navigate and hunt for insects in the dark.
  • A tiny pipistrelle can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night.
  • Things we get from bat-adapted plants include dates, vanilla, bananas, breadfruit, guavas, Iroko timber, balsa wood, sisal, Tequila and chewing gum!
  • Bats are more closely related to humans than they are to mice.
  • The majority of the world's bats eat insects - just like British bats. In the tropics bats also eat foods like fruit, flowers, frogs, fish, blood, even other bats.
  • Bats usually only have one baby a year and can live for up to 30 years.

Find out more

Bats of the World (286 KB) - 01/01/06
An introduction to the amazing variety of bats

Encouraging Bats (823 KB) - 02/08/12
A guide for bat-friendly gardening and living.

Amazing Bats (710 KB) - 19/01/11
General information about UK bat species.

UK bat species

Bat population trends

A year in the life of a bat

Bats of the world

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Bat Helpline

0345 1300 228