Plecotus auritus 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Vespertilionidae

Scientific Name: Plecotus auritus Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Brown Big-eared Bat, Brown Long-eared Bat
French Oreillard Brun, Oreillard Roux
Spanish Orejudo Dorado
Taxonomic Notes: According to new taxonomy this species is endemic to Europe, from Ireland to the Urals (Spitzenberger et al. 2006). The Asian populations have been identified as separate species, P. ognevi and P. sacrimontis. Some Spanish populations were described as subspecies P. auritus begognae (Juste et al. 2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) 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): Vié, J.-C. & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is endemic to Europe, where it is widespread and common, with no major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Plecotus auritus is endemic to Europe, where it is widely distributed south of 65°N and west of the Urals and north of the Caucasus. In the south it is confined to higher elevations. It occurs on the British Isles and in Sardinia. Patchy distribution in Iberia, Italy and the Balkan Peninsula. In the Alps, maternity colonies are found up to 1,920 m asl, hibernacula up to 2,350 m asl (Horácek and Dulic 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Andorra; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Ireland; Italy (Sardegna); Kazakhstan; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Moldova; Monaco; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; San Marino; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2350
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A common species in central Europe, but rare in the Mediterranean. Summer colonies usually number 10-50 females, sometimes up to 100. In winter it is generally solitary, although it may occasionally be found in very small clusters (2-3 animals). Nursery colonies of up to 10 (K. Tsytsulina pers. comm.). There have been no recorded population declines throughout most of its range, but it is decreasing in Turkey (A. Karatas pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It forages in the vicinity of the roost in deciduous and coniferous woodlands, along hedgerows, and in isolated trees in parks and gardens. It feeds mainly on moths and flies gleaned from foliage. In summer it roosts in colonies in buildings (attics, barns, churches, drainage channels), tree holes, and bat boxes. Solitary animals also roost in underground sites. In winter it hibernates in caves, mines, buildings and occasionally trees. A sedentary species, its longest recorded movement is 88 km (Gaisler et al. 2003).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Loss of broad-leaved forest and particularly of mature trees is a threat in parts of its Mediterranean range (Balkans, Portugal, Spain and Turkey). It is affected locally by remedial timber treatment and loss of roost sites.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is protected by national legislation in most range states. There are also international legal obligations for its protection through the Bonn Convention (Eurobats) and Bern Convention. It is included in Annex IV of EU Habitats and Species Directive, and there is some habitat protection through Natura 2000.

Maintenance of natural habitat, especially forests with mature trees is required.

Citation: Hutson, A.M., Spitzenberger, F., Aulagnier, S., Coroiu, I., Karataş, A., Juste, J., Paunovic, M., Palmeirim, J. & Benda, P. 2008. Plecotus auritus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T17596A7154745. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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