Survival of Sussex bats in peril due to decrease in food sources

A decrease in the food sources of a rare species of bat, mainly found in Sussex, has led to the existence of the creatures coming under severe threat. Many campaigners as well as experts have requested the government and authorities to give more protection to the grey long-eared bats by putting them on the list of Priorities Species in the UK as there are only 1000 of them left.

Numbers have decreased lately over the past few decades as the South East England county has experienced the loss of many marshlands and lowland meadows, environments that serve as the bat’s traditional habitat.

Dr Orly Razgour, a researcher who has studied the species, said that their survival is at risk and is now “questionable”, continuing, “If we don’t make more efforts to conserve and save these animals we will lose them. Even though the bats are one of the rarest mammals in the UK, there wasn’t much known about it or what is needed for its survival, until recently.”

Dr Razgour continued, “The population of the bats have been decreasing and continues to do so, very likely down to the fact that their natural habitats of marshlands and lowland meadows are disappearing fast; with their ultimate survival linked with these environments.”

A representative of the Sussex Bat Group claimed recently that this particular species of bat is very uncommon; one that you only get to spot “once in a blue moon.” She continued, “The number of grey long-eared bats has never been high, making a sighting of them a very rare occurrence.

It has overall been a tough year for the bats due to the extended periods of rainy weather killing their main source of food; moths. The bats make use of old barns and derelict buildings as a breeding and raising ground for their young, meaning barn conversions are also a contributing factor.” Visit www.sussexbatgroup.org.uk