Rare UK bat faces extinction as numbers decline

One of the rarest bats in the UK may soon be extinct because of the “dramatic decline” in areas where whey can hunt for food, experts have warned.

Grey long-eared bats are under threat because of a reduction in lowland meadows and marshlands – the mammal’s main foraging habitats.

Only 1,000 grey long-eared bats remain in the UK. Credit: DPA DEUTSCHE PRESS-AGENTUR/DPA/Press Association Images

The Bat Conservation Trust warned there are only 1,000 of the rare bats left in the UK and their numbers are declining.

“The long-term survival of the grey long-eared bat UK population is closely linked to the conservation of these lowland meadows and marshland habitats," explained Dr Orly Razgour.

Grey long-eared bats are one of Britain's rarest mammals that live in the south coast of England, including the Isle of Wight, with a small number found in the Channel Islands. Experts have also found one of the mammals in South Wales.

They are traditionally a cave-dwelling species but have become dependent on buildings such as lofts or barns for roost sites.