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The barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus) is a moderate-sized bat and is exceptionally rare.

The barbastelle is found across central and southern England and Wales, though this is an under-researched species so the range could be larger.

Since 2006, three barbastelle breeding colonies have been found across the New Forest. The work undertaken by Hampshire Bat Group is ongoing and further funding has been awarded to conduct additional bat box surveys in areas where it is likely be present.

The barbastelle mainly feeds on small moths, some flies and beetles. Very few breeding sites in the UK are known and it is thought this bat prefers deciduous woodland, wetlands and bodies of water. The extensive loss of deciduous woodland in the UK could be a contributing factor to its rarity.

The barbastelle is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan species, meaning it is a priority for both local and national conservation efforts.

How you can help

How can you help

Sign up to take part in a National Bat Monitoring Programme survey to help monitor species and numbers.

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of August.'

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