News | Latest News | The Lesser Horseshoe Bat in Ireland: surveys by The Vincent Wildlife Trust

16th December 2013

‘The Lesser Horseshoe Bat in Ireland: surveys by The Vincent Wildlife Trust’ is a new publication by the Irish Naturalists’ Journal, which will shortly be available to subscribers to the journal and also available to buy via a number of websites.

Between the years 1994 to 2004, the Trust undertook a number of winter and summer surveys along the west coast of Ireland in search of roosting sites of the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros). Ireland is the most northerly and westerly limit of this species’ world distribution, where it is confined to counties Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry. It is classified as near threatened within a European context and is the only Irish bat species included under Annex II of the Habitats Directive.

During the VWT surveys, a range of structures were searched, natural and man-made, resulting in the recording of over 8,000 horseshoe bats. The long-term benefit of this work was the acquisition by the Trust of seven of the buildings in which this species was found and the subsequent enhancement of these buildings: by 2013 these sites held 1,598 bats. The publication provides background to the species, details each survey, presents results for roosts in all six counties, provides a general perspective of the summer population of the bat and makes conservation recommendations.

The publication was funded by The Vincent Wildlife Trust and may be cited as: McAney, K., O’Mahony, C., Kelleher, C., Taylor, A. and Biggane, S. (2013) The Lesser Horseshoe Bat in Ireland: surveys by The Vincent Wildlife Trust. Irish Naturalists’ Journal, Belfast. ISBN 978-0-9569704-2-8

The booklet is available to order online from the Irish Naturalists’ Journal (cost €12/£10).

The Irish Naturalists’ Journal has been published every year since 1925. It is unique in scope and content, covering all aspects of natural history, and is the official journal of the established field clubs.

This scientific journal publishes short papers and notes on a wide range of topics relating to the natural environment of Ireland, including botany (eg rare species, plant communities), zoology (eg invertebrates, fish, mammals, birds), geology (eg palaeontology, regional geology, mineral records), obituaries and book reviews.