Soprano Pipistrelles emerging from a maternity roost

The video below shows Soprano Pipistrelles Pipistrellus pygmaeus emerging from a maternity roost at dusk during one of our bat surveys during June 2017. Soprano pipistrelle maternity roosts can number up to 1,500 bats. The total count at this roost was 422 bats!

Soprano pipistrelles are usually associated with wetland habitats, and these bats subsequently foraged along the Lower River Shannon SAC. Soprano Pipistrelles are one of the most common bat species which occur in Ireland, but roosts sites like this are vulnerable – and populations of pipistrelles have declined over the last few decades. This is mainly due to loss of foraging habitats due to agricultural intensification, drainage of wetlands, and channelisation of rivers. However, their reliance on buildings for roosting makes them vulnerable to renovations, exclusion and toxic remedial timber treatment chemicals.

Bats rely on the good hospitality of house owners for their survival. We are currently working with the property company here, and NPWS, to secure this roost and manage it appropriately going forward.

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