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Brown long-eared

Brown long-eared

The brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) is a medium-sized bat, with distinctive ears that are nearly the same length as its entire body.

It flies relatively slowly, picking insects from leaves and occasionally landing on the ground to feed. Larger prey are carried to a perch to be consumed more carefully. These behaviours makes it susceptible to predators such as owls.

Summer roosts include houses, trees and barns, whereas hibernation roosts are most likely to be in caves and tunnels. It is usually seen in open woodland approximately an hour after sunset.

The brown long-eared bat is found across most of Europe, except southern Spain, Greece and Italy. It is also present in most parts of the UK, except Shetland, Orkney and other exposed islands.

The population has declined in the UK over the last 50 years as a consequence of habitat loss, largely due to changing agricultural practices and renovation of barns that had previously been roosts.

ID Tip

ID Tip

The brown long-eared bat is usually seen in open woodland approximately an hour after sunset.

How you can help

How can you help

Create a bat-friendly garden: plant night-scented flowers, such as Honeysuckle; build a pond; create hedgerows; and reduce artificial light.

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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