South West Wales

Grey long-eared bat find in Pembrokeshire 'amazing'

Grey long-eared bat (Pic: Richard Compton, Wildwood Ecology)
Image caption The grey long-eared bat's presence was confirmed by DNA analysis of its droppings

One of Britain's rarest bats has been found in Pembrokeshire for the first time on record, according to experts.

The grey long-eared bat has been recorded in south England but is common in other parts of Europe with Britain on the northern limit of its range.

"It's an amazing discovery," said Ant Rogers, Pembrokeshire council's biodiversity officer.

He said healthy bat populations were a good indication of a "healthy ecosystem with well connected habitats".

DNA analysis

The official confirmation of the species was confirmed at an undisclosed roost site in the east of the county using DNA analysis of the droppings.

They usually hunt in the open up to 6km (about 3.7 miles) from home.

Mr Rogers said that as with other long-eared bats, their preferred roost was in large roof spaces where they could fly around.

"The echo location call of long-eared bats is very quiet, so identifying them in the field can be difficult," he said.

"In this instance the bats were identified by DNA analysis of the droppings."

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