Myotis myotis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Vespertilionidae

Scientific Name: Myotis myotis
Species Authority: (Borkhausen, 1797)
Regional Assessments:
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Vulnerable (V)
1990 Insufficiently Known (K)
1988 Insufficiently Known (K)

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.
Countries occurrence:
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.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

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
Movement patterns: Full Migrant

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.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability: Suitable  
7. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) -> 7.1. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) - Caves
suitability: Suitable  
7. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) -> 7.2. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) - Other Subterranean Habitats
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Castella, V., Ruedi, M., Excoffier, L., Ibañez, C., Arlettaz, J. and Hausser, J. 2000. Is the Gibraltar Strait a barrier to gene flow for the bat Myotis myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae)? Molecular Ecology 9: 1761-1772.

Güttinger, R., Zahn, A., Krapp, F. and Schober, W. 2001. Myotis myotis (Borkhausen, 1797) - Großes Mausohr, Großmausohr. In: F. Krapp (ed.), Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas. Band 4: Fledertiere. Teil I: Chiroptera I. Rhinolophidae, Vespertilionidae 1, pp. 123-207. Aula-Verlag, Wiebelsheim, Germany.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Roué, S. Y. and Groupe Chiroptères, S. F. E. P. M. 1997. Les chauves-souris disparaissent-elles ? Vingt ans après. Arvicola 9(1): 19-24.

Simon, M., Hüttenbügel, S. and Smit-Viergutz, J. 2004. Ecology and conservation of bats in villages and towns. Schriftenr. Landschaftspfl. Naturschutz 77: 1-264.

Spitzenberger F. 2002. Die Säugetierfauna Österreichs. Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft. Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft, Band.

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 2008: e.T14133A4403709. . Downloaded on 30 May 2016.
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