Another first for Jersey – Lesser horseshoe bat

Lesser horseshoe bat (Jersey). Photo by Ani BinetFrom Annyctalus Ecology

We are delighted to announce that we have confirmed another new bat species for Jersey. A single Rhinolophus hipposideros, or Lesser horseshoe bat, was spotted during our final hibernation survey of the winter on Sunday 4th March 2018. This bat species can be found on the nearby Cherbourg Peninsula, as well as in south west England, and Wales, but it is a first for Jersey.

Lesser horseshoe bat (UK). Photo by Daniel Whitby

Lesser horseshoe bats are notoriously difficult to record on bat detectors due to having a very high frequency, directional call. A single file containing echolocation calls which appeared to be of this species was previously recorded at the same site in September 2016, but despite numerous surveys of the site, both visual and using capture techniques and almost constant deployment of static bat detectors at the site since June 2017 no further records of the species were made, until now.

Horseshoe bats are listed under Annex II of the Habitat Directive due to their rarity and specific habitat requirements. In most areas horseshoe bat summer colonies are usually found in the roofs of larger rural houses and stable blocks offering a range of roof spaces. They are very shy and require dark vegetated corridors in which to travel as well as woodland areas in which to feed.

Horseshoe bats are very distinctive in appearance and are the only UK bat species which hang freely when roosting. If you have seen horseshoe bats within your property, or elsewhere in the Island we would love to hear from you in order to allow us to learn more about this species. We would also welcome any information about other bat roosts! Please send your roost information to us at ani@jerseybatgirl.co.uk or to the Jersey Bat Group on enquiries@jerseybatgroup.org

Leave a Reply