Jersey Bat Group find rare bat species first identified in Greece

Myotis Alcathoe found in Jersey Image copyright Miranda Collette
Image caption The Myotis Alcathoe found in Jersey was a pregnant female

A rare species of bat has been found in Jersey for the first time.

At a recent study in St Catherine's Woods, members of a local group found the small mammal, known as myotis alcathoe.

The bat was first identified in Greece 15-years ago, and has only been found in the UK in small numbers in Yorkshire and Sussex.

The Jersey Bat Group caught the pregnant female during a research night in St Catherine.

Myotis alcathoe is a woodland specialist and normally roosts in trees, however there are no known tree roosts in Jersey.

About Myotis alcathoe

Image copyright Bob Cornes
Image caption This is the first time a Myotis Alcathoe has been found in Jersey as is believed to be a native species
  • Labelled as "data deficient" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species
  • It is believed to be a tree dwelling and forest foraging species
  • The species was first discovered in Greece in 2001
  • It is a small bat with reddish-brown fur
  • They are usually found in old-growth forests near water and roosts in cavities high in trees

Source: IUCN Red List

Annika Binet from the group said: "If this bat had been a male it would be possible that it is a vagrant from France. They sometimes get blown across in storms, or hitch a ride in boats.

"As it was a pregnant female the odds are that it is a resident species, which we have always had but never previously come across."

Dr Amy Hall from the group said she hoped they would make more discoveries.

She said: "We are very excited to find this species in the island for the first time. There may be further exciting new discoveries".

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