Widespread in much of Europe, Myotis nattereri is found throughout most of the British Isles but is scarce throughout most of its range (The Bat Conservation Trust, 2002).M. nattereri’s dorsal fur is grey-brown with pale white-grey ventral fur, a pinkish face and relatively large ears that are pink at the base and browner towards the tips (Wardhaugh, 1995) with a long narrow tragus. A characteristic feature of this species is the row of stiff hairs along the edge of the tail membrane. The frequencies used by this bat species for echolocation lie between 23-115 kHz, have most energy at 53 kHz and have an average duration of 3.8 ms (Parsons & Jones, 2000); (Obrist et al, 2004).
M. nattereri forages in woodland, shrub and parkland, sometimes over water, pasture, and road verges. It occurs in humid areas, and in dry areas it is dependent on water bodies. Summer roosts are in hollow trees and old buildings. It hibernates in underground habitats such as caves, cellars and mines. M. nattereri prefers to forage at distances up to 1,500 meters from roosts. They tend to have core foraging areas of 2-20 hectares within a home range of 100-600 hectares, which are visited every night by the same individuals. M. nattereri use linear features such as hedges and alleys for flight paths (Boye & Dietz, 2005). Natterer’s bats are unusual in that they forage extremely close to vegetation (Smith & Racey, 2008).
- The Bat Conservation Trust: Species Information Sheet – Natterer’s Bat (2002)
- Wardhaugh, A.A. 1995. Bats of the British Isles. Shire Natural History, Aylesbury
- Parsons, S. & Jones, G.2000. Acoustic identification of twelve species of echolocating bat by discriminant function analysis and artificial neural networks. J Exp Biol., 203: 2641-2656.
- Obrist, M.K., Boesch, R. & Flückiger, P.F. 2004. Variability in echolocation call design of 26 Swiss bat species: Consequences, limits and options for automated field identification with a synergic pattern recognition approach. Mammalia., 68 (4): 307-32.
- Boye P. & Dietz M. 2005. Development of good practical guidelines for woodland management for bats. English Nature Research Reports 661: 1–89
- Smith, P. G., Racey, P. A. 2008. Natterer’s bats prefer foraging in broad-leaved woodlands and river corridors. Journal of Zoology. 275 (3): 314–322
Compiled by David Mallaburn