In response to the 100-day species champion challenge, I am raising awareness of Leisler’s Bat.
This small, flying, mammal fits in the human hand, with adults weighing just 12g each.
They are very similar to the common noctule (common bat) but are smaller, with longer fur and have a lighter colour. Leisler’s bats appear early in the evening and have been observed emerging from houses at around sunset. They may stay away from the roost hunting until dawn. They usually fly high and fast in the open, frequently at or below tree top level, with shallow dives. Sometimes they fly close to the ground along lanes and well-lit roads. In suburban areas they may be attracted to insects around street lights.
Leisler’s bat is naturally a forest species, roosting in tree holes. However, bat boxes have proved in some areas to be a useful substitute for natural roost sites. They also roost in buildings, though this is rare in Scotland but common in Ireland. Leisler’s bat is a mobile species and one roost is often occupied for only a few days before the colony moves to another roost. They work hard to keep the pest population of Scotland down, dining on Flies, Moths, Caddis Flies and Beetles.
They can be found in the Galloway forest area, near Clatteringshaws Loch in particular, as well as in the Rhins area.
I am very conscious of the threat posed by the loss of biodiversity in his constituency and Scotland as a whole and will continue to be a leader in the fight to protect our wildlife.