Species Champions: Leisler’s bat

The second largest bat in Scotland, it has often been misidentified as the closely-related noctule.  Ongoing research is adding to our knowledge of the distribution of this little-known bat, which seems to prefer the southwest, with the noctule preferring the southeast.

Action Needed

  1. 1. Support research on the impact of wind turbines on bats and ensure wind turbine sites are monitored for Leisler’s bat before and after construction.
  2. Support conservation of ancient woodland and planting of mixed woodland.
  3. Promote the protection and creation of well-connected habitat which is rich in insect life.
  4. Raise awareness of the need for bat surveys to be undertaken before development proposals are accepted and encourage measures which retain, create and enhance bat roosts during conversions, renovations and new builds.
  5. Encourage planners and developers to follow the Bat Conservation Trust good practice guidelines for bat surveys.
  6. Increase public awareness of the value of bats.
  7. Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.
  8. Promote the monitoring of bats so we can have a better knowledge and understand of their distribution, as well as their roosting and foraging habits in Scotland.


  1. Lack of knowledge about the species and how to protect it.
  2. Injury from wind turbines due to its high-flying habit.
  3. Decline in insects.
  4. Negative perceptions.
  5. Fragmentation and loss of habitat including tree roosts.
  6. Loss of roosts due to renovation of properties and other man-made structures without retaining access for bats.

MSP Species Champion

Finlay Carson

Member for: Galloway and West Dumfries

Party: Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party

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