Highlands & Islands

Bat recorded for the first time on St Kilda

Bat on St Kilda Image copyright Kerry Sutton-Spence
Image caption The Nathusius' pipistrelle was found on the stone wall of an abandoned store

A bat has been recorded for the first time on the remote Scottish archipelago of St Kilda.

The Nathusius' pipistrelle, which is a rare sight on the UK mainland, was spotted by visitors last month.

The bat was found on St Kilda's main island of Hirta, resting on the wall of a small, stone-built store known as a cleit.

Nathusius' pipistrelles are a migratory species and were first recorded in Britain in Shetland in 1940.

Individual animals have been recorded on North Sea oil platforms and the Shetland and Orkney islands, according to the Bat Conservation Trust.

The only mammals previously found on St Kilda, which lies 41 miles (66km) east of the Isle of Lewis, were Soay sheep and the St Kilda field mouse.

The islands once had house mice, but they died out after the last human residents abandoned St Kilda in 1930.

The National Trust for Scotland, which manages St Kilda, said it was not known from where the bat had flown.

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