Skip to main content
close x

Grey long-eared

Grey long-eared

The grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus) is a very rare, medium-sized bat, found in the south of the UK.

It is closely related to the brown long-eared bat and it is exceptionally hard to tell them apart. As with the brown long-eared bat, its ears are almost the same length as its body, however, they often remain hidden with only the inner tragus showing.

The grey long-eared bat is only found in the south of the UK whereas, the brown long-eared is also found in the north. Despite the similarities, the grey long-eared bat is thought to feed mainly in meadows, whereas the brown long-eared prefers woodland.

Its summer roost is often in buildings, although it has been observed hibernating in tunnels and caves. Currently the grey long-eared has only been found in Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

A population of 1,000 individuals was estimated in 1995 and there is no current conservation plan for this bat, largely due to the lack of information on the species.

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.'

Newsletter Image





Six free walking routes when you sign up for New Forest Newsletter

Subscribe to New Forest National Park Authority

By entering your email below you are consenting to us sending you newsletters. To unsubscribe, email More info:

I think you mistyped your email
Your interests (tick at least one)

Please select one

By signing up to this form you are consenting to receive emails from us. Each email will contain a link to your personal reference settings where you can opt-out or change which emails you receive from us. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information about how we use data.

Subscribe to New Forest National Park Authority

Thanks, your subscription has been confirmed. You've been added to our list and your New Forest walking pack is on its way to you, including a link to download our free app.