Second discovery of rare bat in East Devon

PUBLISHED: 15:04 22 March 2017

A photo og rare grey long-earred bat when it was discovered by Acorn Ecology back in November.

A photo og rare grey long-earred bat when it was discovered by Acorn Ecology back in November.

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An Exeter based ecology business has discovered a rare species of bat roosting in East Devon.

Staff at Acorn Ecology Ltd discovered the grey long-eared bats while carrying out a building survey.

The grey long-eared bat is rare to the UK with a population of less than 3,000.

The company made a separate discovery of the species in November and have sent off droppings collected from the roost for DNA analysis.

Colin Bonfield, senior ecologist said: “The roost is also being used by other confirmed bat species including serotine and brown long-eared. Because of the difficulty in distinguishing the two species of long-eared bat, and their habits of sharing roosts, it’s easy to miss the rarer species. This is why DNA analysis is so important.

“Devon is a stronghold for bats in the UK, with 16 species recorded here. Grey long-eared bats are light averse and the low levels of light pollution in the county are favourable. There is diverse foraging habitat in this part of the county, with plenty of woodland and old buildings that provide suitable foraging habitat and roosts.”

The company added it could not disclose the exact location of the bats.

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