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species > Bat > Barbastelle

12th March 2015

The barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus) is a predominantly tree-dwelling species associated with woodland with a high proportion of standing dead wood or storm damaged trees. 


The barbastelle has a broadly southern distribution in Britain, with the most northerly records being from Lincolnshire. This wide distribution belies its status as a rare bat species, as colonies are sparsely distributed in the landscape and absent from many areas of the country.


Our work

VWT has undertaken studies into the distribution of this species and its roosting preferences. The Trust is working to conserve the barbastelle by:

  • giving advice to woodland managers on conservation measures to protect and promote these animals;
  • training voluntary bat workers to survey for this species using bat detectors;
  • conducting a ringing programme to gather data on longevity and population structure;
  • collaborating with The University of Sussex and supporting a PhD student to investigate the distribution of barbastelle maternity colonies and how this relates to the wider landscape. Find out how you can help with the research between June and August 2021.


New project

VWT’s Natur am Byth! Barbastelle Conservation Project — September 2023 to September 2027

We’re delighted to be a partner in Natur am Byth! – Wales’s new flagship Green Recovery project. Thanks to the players of The National Lottery, the partnership has been awarded more than £4.1m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver the country’s largest-ever natural heritage and outreach programme to save species from extinction and reconnect people to nature.


Useful links


Photo: Barbastelle ©Johnny Birks

Distribution map: ©The Mammal Society

Key information

English name: Barbastelle

Latin name: Barbastella barbastellus

Number of young: One born late June to early July

Diet: Predominantly moths but very occasionally lacewings, caddisflies and true flies.

Habitat: Tree-dwelling species associated with woodland with a high proportion of standing dead wood or storm damaged trees.

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