Rare bat species discovered in Guernsey

  • Video of the lesser horseshoe bat, provided by Daniel Hargreaves.

A rare type of bat has been recorded for the first time in Guernsey.

The lesser horseshoe bat was discovered thanks to islanders sending their sightings to the Bailiwick Bat Survey.

The species was recorded on 13 and 14 April in St Martin.

Experts are trying to map out the location of bats in the Bailiwick. Credit: Daniel Hargreaves

Facts about lesser horseshoe bats:

  • They forage largely on broadleaved woodland and are known to actively avoid light.

  • The bats measure around the size of a plum and weigh under 10 grams.

  • The Bat Conservation Trust says numbers in the UK are increasing significantly – by an average of 4.5% yearly, but remain "incredibly rare".

The survey aims to map out the location of bats on the island so that they can be better understood, and protected.

It runs until the end of October, with volunteers invited to borrow detector kits from a number of 'bat centres', details of which can be found on the Bailiwick Bat Survey Facebook page.

Meanwhile, a bat detector is being made available for loan at Jersey Library. The Jersey Bat Group is working in partnership with the library to provide the equipment in the hope that it will help islanders learn more about local species. They say there has been an increase in the number of people who have wanted to "re-engage with nature" during the pandemic.