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Bats are small, furry, intelligent animals that make up almost one quarter of all land mammals in Ireland. Despite this, very few people have ever seen a live bat!

Would you recognise a bat if you saw one?

Lets learn some more about the Irish Bats.

The Irish Bat

At the moment there are seven known species of bats in Ireland. They are:

  1. Lesser Horseshoe - a special bat
  2. Pipistrelle - a small common bat
  3. Daubenton's - the water bat
  4. Longeared bat
  5. Natterer's - an uncommon bat
  6. Leiser's - our largest species
  7. Whiskered - a rare bat

Lifestyle of a Bat

Irish bats like to live in dry, safe places (usually buildings), that will keep them protected from predators.

They go out hunting by night and like to eat insects of all sizes, from tiny insects you can hardly see to big moths and beetles.

Bats go into hibernation in the wintertime when there are less insects to feed on. They drop their body temperature and their heartbeat becomes very slow. In this way, they can survive on the fat reserves they have built up from eating all the juicy insects during the autumn!

Did you know that a group of bats is called a colony?

The bats in Irelands belong to two different families, the Rhinolophidae (horse-shoe bats) and the Vespertilionidae (evening bats). All of these species are quite small. The smallest measures just thirty-five mm from head to tail and the largest measures sixty-four mm.