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.