Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Plecotus auritus - Brown Long-Eared Bat

Range & Status

Found over most of Europe except the extreme south. Widespread but endangered in Germany. The estimated British population is 200,000 (Harris et al ., 1995). The National Bat Monitoring Programme data so far shows no clear trend for this species.

Regional Distribution

It is common and widespread throughout Cornwall except in the most exposed areas. In 1980-1996 data it was present in 57 1km squares. This has increased to 263 1km squares. This is an increase above that accountable for by the limitations and variables mentioned in the Introduction and would appear to indicate an increasing trend. However, amongst all bat species the Brown Long-eared is the one that may have been most severely under recorded by previous survey methods. Indeed it remains a concern that even now the presence of Brown Long-eared Bats can still go unnoticed and ways of reducing this

phenomenon are being investigated within Cornwall.

Habitat & Ecology

Feeds in woodland, parkland and gardens, hovering and gliding after larger insects such as moths and picking up caterpillars or spiders. Insect remains are

obvious under feeding roosts. May be found in roof spaces at any time of year. Prefers large roof spaces and barns to allow room to fly within the roost. Alternative summer sites are in trees or bat boxes. In winter, roosts in small numbers in cooler buildings or in wide range of underground sites.


Particularly vulnerable to works affecting roofs carried out in winter as they often stay in roof spaces during hibernation. Loss of large trees.


Extensive legal protection detailed in Introduction. Building renovations need particular care. Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995). UK BAP Priority species.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.