Using Circuitscape to identify potential landscape corridors for the lesser horseshoe bat in Ireland

3rd December 2020

This report presents the results of a modelling study funded by National Parks and Wildlife Service during 2020. The study investigates the gaps in the distribution of the lesser horseshoe bat in Ireland over its entire range, incorporating datasets on land cover, roads, linear habitat features and density of artificial lighting, to produce a baseline map of potential ecological corridors to connect lesser horseshoe bat sub-populations.

The results demonstrate the lack of functional connectivity for lesser horseshoe bats between the three regions that comprise the core populations for the species and highlight the areas where practical conservation measures to increase functional connectivity in the landscape are possible, but also those areas that are acting as a barrier for the species.