30th July 2020

Bat species at risk of extinction

Barbastelle (c) Hugh Clark - Hugh Clark

The first official IUCN Red List for British Mammals, produced by the Mammal Society for Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage (NatureScot) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, shows that four of the 11 mammal species native to Britain classified as being at imminent risk of extinction are bats. These are: greater mouse-eared bat, grey long-eared bat, serotine and barbastelle. A further two species are classified as Near Threatened: Leisler’s bat and Nathusius’ pipistrelle.

While the latest data from the Bat Conservation Trust’s long-standing citizen science project, the National Bat Monitoring Programme, show that populations of the 11 species of bat surveyed appear to be stable or increasing, we know there is still a long way to go before these species recover from huge historical declines. The IUCN Red List highlights the urgency of the situation for others of the UK’s 18 bat species which remain particularly vulnerable to extinction. To be able to address this situation there is an urgent need for further research along with well implemented legal protection, targeted land management and education programmes. It is only through this four-pronged approach that we will be able to ensure the survival of this vital part of our natural heritage.

“Many of our existing projects are already working with some of the most vulnerable bat species identified in the first official IUCN Red List for British Mammals. This includes our collaborative projects such as Back from the Brink, Bats in Churches and National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle project. We need to secure the resources and support to continue to learn more about bats so that we can be effective in their conservation. We know our work makes a real difference but is only possible thanks to our members, donors, funders, supporters, volunteers, and project partners." Kit Stoner, CEO

There is a big task ahead of us but we are determined and committed but know we can’t achieve this without working together. It is only through securing the necessary financial support that we will be able to continue working towards our vision of a world rich in wildlife where bats and people thrive together.

Further information:

To donate to bat conservation: https://www.bats.org.uk/donate/pledge

To become a member of the Bat Conservation Trust: https://www.bats.org.uk/membership/scheme

To get involved in monitoring bats in the UK: https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/national-bat-monitoring-programme

Other ways to support: https://www.bats.org.uk/support-bats