Lucky horseshoes!
A lovely photo of a greater horseshoe bat's face, featuring the 'horseshoe' that enhances their echolocation calls.
Photo by Daniel Hargreaves/Bat Conservation Trust

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week!

I have some great news! Greater Horseshoe bats are returning to Kent England! This is very big news seeing as these bats are very elusive and rare. They have been living in Britain and northern Europe for a long time now and have just been found in the east of England for the first time in 115 years. These bats live in underground caves, tunnels and in abandoned buildings. There are only 12 known isolated Greater Horseshoe bat colonies in England, with an estimated 35 breeding roosts. No one has found the new roost for these bats in Kent; however, this species doesn’t like traveling more than 20 miles from their roosts. This means that the chances of the bats living in a known roost is small.

Greater Horseshoe bats get their name from their unique nose leaf. This nose leaf helps amplify and transmit their echolocation calls. Their distinct echo was recorded at two different locations near the coast, far from any existing roost.

Their return can be due to any number of reasons. One reason could be climate change. If the weather is warmer, more bugs and insects come and attract bats. Warmer weather also contributes to earlier bat births and better temperature for when the bats emerge from hibernation.

One way to help these bats continue moving into the area, and bats around the world, is to create environments the bats want to live in. This means less light pollution, pesticide-free areas, and good roost options will continue attracting these animals to the area.

If you would like to read more about this, you can do so here.

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