Pipistrellus pygmaeus 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Vespertilionidae

Scientific Name: Pipistrellus pygmaeus
Species Authority: (Leach, 1825)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Soprano Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle
Spanish Murciélago De Cabrera
Taxonomic Notes: Includes P. mediterraneus, formerly regarded by some authorities as a subspecies of P. pipistrellus (Simmons 2005). The genetically and morphologically distinct population of pipistrelle bats belonging to the pygmaeus genetic clade and occurring in the Cyrenaica/Libya was recently described (Benda et al. 2004) as Pipistrellus hanaki.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-25
Assessor(s): Benda, P., Coroiu, I. & Paunović, M.
Reviewer(s): Racey, P.A.
Contributor(s): Hutson, A.M., Spitzenberger, F., Aulagnier, S., Karataş, A. & Juste, J.
The species is widespread and abundant, and there is no evidence of current significant population decline. Consequently it is assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Pygmy Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) was only recently differentiated from P. pipistrellus, and some details of its distribution are still lacking. It is also a western Palaearctic species, occurring from the British Isles through much of Europe (including the islands of Corsica, Sardinina and Sicily (Fichera et al. 2013) ) east to Ukraine and western Russia. So far no records have been reported from North Africa or the Middle East (Dietz et al. 2009). It occurs further north in Scandinavia than P. pipistrellus.
Countries occurrence:
Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; France (Corsica); Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Moldova; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Pipistrellus pygmaeus generally appears to be less abundant than P. pipistrellus, although it is nevertheless a widespread and abundant species. Summer colonies may be larger than P. pipistrellus, numbering up to 250 (or occasionally up to 3,000) individuals. It is not known if the species congregates in winter, or what size its winter colonies attain. Recent evidence of hybridisation with P. pipistrellus has been found in Central Europe  by Sztencel-Jablonka and Bogdanowicz (2012).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It forages around woodland and wetlands, and is more closely associated with water than P. pipistrellus. It feeds mainly on small Diptera (especially aquatic midges). Maternity colonies are located in hollow trees, rock crevices and buildings (which provide warmer sites) (Michaelsen et al. 2014). No specific data are available on P. pygmaeus winter roost sites, but presumably they are similar to those used by P. pipistrellus.
Generation Length (years):5.2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): As maternity colonies tend to be found in buildings, the species may be vulnerable to anthropogenic factors, such as disturbance, timber treatment and building renovation (Battersby 2005). However, this is not thought to be a major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is protected under national law in most range states. It is also protected under international law through the Bonn Convention (Eurobats) and Bern Convention in parts of its range where these apply, and is included in Annex IV of the EU Habitats and Species Directive. It occurs in many protected areas. No specific conservation actions are known.

Adoption of bat-friendly practices in the construction and maintenance of buildings is a proposed action.

Although this species was only recently described, it is apparently widespread and abundant. However, further clarification of its distribution, population size and trend, habitat preferences, and ecology is required.

Citation: Benda, P., Coroiu, I. & Paunović, M. 2016. Pipistrellus pygmaeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T136649A21990234. . Downloaded on 25 October 2016.
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