• Wildlife Friendly Otley

PIPISTRELLE BAT


It flew so near me I could hear its wingbeats. As dusk drew in it was hunting insects, flitting expertly in and out of the kitchen/bathroom extensions along our terrace. The Pipistrelle is the smallest UK bat, with the weight of a 2p coin, and our most common, but one can eat three thousand flies in a night. Females give birth to a single pup up to 30% their bodyweight – if my maths is right, the human equivalent would be a 50lb baby! They take very young pups with them when they go out hunting. There is a colony of Daubenton's bats below the central arch of Otley Bridge, and a huge maternity colony of between 300 and 400 bats at the back of an Otley school. The photos below were taken by West Yorkshire Bat Hospital and show two rescued Pipistrelles that were later released in Otley. It must be remembered that bats are a protected species and should only be handled if they are grounded and in need of help, and then only in accordance with the advice of Bat Conservation Trust:

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Masthead photography courtesy of Mark Denton

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