Police probe after 12 dead bats found in St Andrews

A pipistrelle bat Pipistrelle bats are protected by law

Related Stories

A police investigation has been launched after 12 bats were found dead in St Andrews.

The bodies of the pipistrelle bats were discovered at the foot of a tree on the Eden Estuary, at Guardbridge, near the former Guardbridge Paper Mill.

A post-mortem examination has revealed that they suffered "significant trauma" at the time of their deaths.

Police have appealed for information to discover how the bats died.

It is thought they were killed on or around Friday 28 June.

PC Susan Martin, of Police Scotland, said: "We can confirm that, following a post-mortem examination at a laboratory in Cumbria, we now know that the animals had some significant trauma at the time of their deaths."

Open mind

She added: "We do not know if people have discovered the bat roost and interfered with it or if someone in the area has found them in their home and decided to dispose of them.

Start Quote

If a mother bat is killed, then their baby will die too as a baby bat depends on its mother for milk”

End Quote Pete Charleston Bat Conservation Trust

"We have an open mind to any scenario."

The police are being assisted in the probe by the divisional wildlife crime co-ordinator, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Bat Conservation Trust.

Pete Charleston, investigations officer for Bat Conservation Trust, said: "Bat roosts are incredibly important sites for conservation. At this time of year bats are at their most sensitive, mother bats will be raising their young in maternity roosts.

"If a mother bat is killed, then their baby will die too as a baby bat depends on its mother for milk. It is very important for bat conservation that bat roosts are not disturbed."

All bats and their roosts are protected by law.

Is an offence to intentionally or deliberately kill, injure or capture a bat, deliberately disturb a bat (whether in a roost or not), damage or destroy or obstruct access to a bat roost.

It is also a legal requirement to consult Scottish Natural Heritage before anything is done that might affect bats or their roosts.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Edinburgh, Fife and East

Weather

Edinburgh

13 °C 12 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.