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Grey long-eared bat

Plecotus austriacus

Species factsheet; Distribution and abundance

One grey long-eared bat roost is currently monitored as part of the Roost Count

Distribution and abundance

This bat is considered to be one of the UK's rarest species and its population appears to be declining (Razgour, 2012). Its recorded distribution is primarily confined to the extreme south of the British Isles, from Sussex to Devon, including Somerset, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. Recently, a grey long-eared bat roost was found in Pembrokeshire, indicating that the species may be also present in south-west Wales.

The map shows the current mapped distribution in the UK, including records from Razgour (2012).

Distribution of Grey long-eared bat

Roost counts

Three grey long-eared bat roosts are included in the NBMP, although two of these are not currently monitored. A roost in Devon has been monitored annually since 2013.

Population estimate 








1,000 - 3,000

1,000 - 3,000


does not occur

does not occur



 Razgour, 2012 





NBMP Grey long-eared bat Project 2012

In summer 2012 the National Bat Monitoring Programme undertook an exciting project, the aim of which was to try to identify grey long-eared bat roosts and so expand our knowledge of the distribution of this rare species. We enlisted the help of long-eared bat roost owners within the species' known range and asked them to collect and return droppings from their roosts. Many roost owners and other volunteers kindly participated and the bat droppings they returned were sent off for DNA analysis to determine their species of origin.  Click here for the full report.


Razgour O. (2012) From genes to landscapes: conservation biology of the grey long-eared bat, Plecotus austriacus, across spatio-temporal scales. PhD thesis, University of Bristol, UK

Link to Grey long-eared bat; a conservation management plan 

Return to Species Population Trends summary; Report home page; Contents page



Grey long-eared bat factsheet



Current distribution of grey long-eared bat in the UK

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

Grey long-eared bat distribution



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