Myotis myotis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Myotis myotis
Species Authority: (Borkhausen, 1797)
Common Name(s):
English Greater Mouse-eared Bat, Large Mouse-eared Bat, Mouse-eared Bat, Mouse-eared Myotis
French Grand Murin, GRAND MURIN
Spanish Murciélago Ratonero Grande, MURCIÉLAGO RATONERO GRANDE

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hutson, A.M., Spitzenberger, F., Aulagnier, S., Coroiu, I., Karataş, A., Juste, J., Paunovic, M., Palmeirim, J. & Benda, P.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
The species experienced a significant population reduction in the past but is now stable (at lower densities) or recovering throughout the range. The range is still wide and the population large (tens of thousands of individuals in various countries). Consequently it is assessed as Least Concern.
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Insufficiently Known (IUCN 1990)
1988 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Myotis myotis is a western Palaearctic species; it occurs in western, central and southern Europe (with individual records from southern England and southern Sweden) and in Asia Minor and in the Levant.
Albania; Andorra; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Holy See (Vatican City State); Hungary; Israel; Italy (Sicilia); Lebanon; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Montenegro; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal (Azores); Romania; San Marino; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Baleares); Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Turkey; Ukraine
Possibly extinct:
United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A common species in most of its distributional range, populations of several regions are fluctuating in numbers. During the 1980s and 1990s in central Europe there were increases in numbers following major declines in earlier decades. It forms large nursery colonies (tens to thousands of individuals) in caves, in central Europe also in loft spaces. In Austria the population was estimated to be 76,000 individuals in 1999 and is still increasing (Spitzenberger 2002, F. Spitzenberger pers. comm. 2006). In France 37,000 individuals were recorded in summer 1995 (Roue and Groupe Chiropteres 1997); trend data are not available. A small population went extinct in Britain in 1990 (A. Hutson pers. comm. 2006). In the Balkans and in Turkey it is stable.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It forages over woodland edge, open woodland and pasture. It preys on large insects, mainly beetles and crickets, gleaned from the ground, also feeds on spiders. It roosts in underground sites all year in much of range, and in buildings (loft-spaces) in summer in northern parts. Occasionally it forms small colonies in trees. It is an occasional migrant; the longest recorded movement is 436 km (Simon et al. 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Europe, it is a typical species of agricultural mosaic landscapes, therefore agricultural activities (e.g., pesticide use, intensification that leads to loss of scrubby patches, hedgerows, and small woods) can affect populations of this species. Loss of or damage to roost sites in underground habitats and buildings is a major problem in places.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protected by national legislation in most range states. Also international legal obligations for protection through Bonn Convention (Eurobats) and Bern Convention in range countries where those apply. Included in Annex II (and (IV) of EU Habitats and Species Directive, and hence requiring special measures for conservation including designation of Special Areas for Conservation. Some habitat protection through Natura 2000.

In Spain it is recommended that not only should the roosts be protected but also the surrounding countryside - a 20 km zone around the most important colonies should be maintained under traditional agricultural practices.

Research is required into the use of anti-parasitic drugs on livestock and their effect on dung beetles and other invertebrate fauna attracted to dung, as this bat species feeds on these invertebrates.

Citation: Hutson, A.M., Spitzenberger, F., Aulagnier, S., Coroiu, I., Karataş, A., Juste, J., Paunovic, M., Palmeirim, J. & Benda, P. 2008. Myotis myotis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 30 March 2015.
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