Species Champions: Nathusius pipistrelle

One of the smallest bats in the UK, the Nathusius’ pipistrelle roosts in crevices such as tree hollows, rock fissures and under soffit boards. Its population is particularly interesting and unusual in that it appears to consist of both resident and migratory bats. Residents breed here in summer, while a migratory population from Eastern Europe winters in Britain. They usually roost close to large freshwater lakes, feeding on aquatic flying insects.

Action Needed

  1. Support research on the impact of wind turbines on bats and ensure wind turbine sites are monitored for Nathusius’ pipistrelle before and after construction.
  2. Promote the protection and creation of well-connected habitat which is rich in insect life.
  3. 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.
  4. Encourage planners and developers to follow the Bat Conservation Trust good practice guidelines for bat surveys.
  5. Increase public awareness of the value of bats.
  6. Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.
  7. 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 in Scotland 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

Willie Rennie

Member for: North East Fife

Party: Scottish Liberal Democrats

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