The soprano pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) is one of the most common bats in the UK and is seen regularly in gardens.
Widespread across the UK, but not found in the north of Scotland, the soprano pipistrelle is one of our smallest bats but can catch up to 3,000 small insects in a single night.
Its echolocation call (the echoes of a bat’s high-frequency sounds which bounce back, enabling it to work out what’s ahead) is normally best heard at around 55kHz on a bat detector, compared to its close cousin the common pipistrelle at 45kHz. These two types of bat were only identified as different species in the 1990s.
In the summer, this bat can be found roosting in trees and buildings, leaving its roost 15-20 minutes after sunset. It’s reliance on buildings to roost leaves it vulnerable to renovation work and timber treatment chemicals.
The UK population has declined by around 55% since the 1960s, however it is thought that the population has since stabilised.