Species Champions: Natterer’s bat

A medium-sized bat with a white belly and brown back. Its pinkish limbs give rise to its old name of ‘red-armed bat’. Its broad wings give it an almost hovering flight and it can pluck insects from leaves, spiders from webs and caterpillars from grass. Natterer’s bats emerge late, around 40 minutes after sunset, making it easy to overlook. It roosts in old buildings like churches, although farmers have also described finding it between crumpled plastic feed sacks in the rafters of barns.

Action Needed

  1. 1. Support research and best practice around artificial lighting guidance and proposals.
  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. Vulnerable to effects of light pollution.
  2. Decline in insects.
  3. Negative perceptions.
  4. Fragmentation and loss of habitat including tree roosts.
  5. Loss of roosts due to renovation of properties and other man-made structures without retaining access for bats.

MSP Species Champion

Fulton MacGregor

Member for: Coatbridge and Chryston

Party: Scottish National Party

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