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North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan
Bats (Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus/pygmaeus, Brown Longeared
Plecotus auritus, Whiskered/Brandt’s Myotis mystacinus/brandtii,
Natterer’s Myotis nattereri, Daubenton’s Myotis daubentonii, Noctule
1 Current status
All seventeen species of bat resident in the UK are in decline. The most common, the Pipistrelle suffered population losses of up to 70% between 1978 and 1993 but it remains widespread with an estimated UK pre-breeding population of 2 million. Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrelle pipistrellus) is no longer a UK BAP Priority Species since its population is thought to be stable in the UK. Brown long-eared, Soprano Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) and Noctule are UK BAP Priority Species due to a decline in numbers.
Pipistrelles are widely distributed throughout North Merseyside, occurring in all four districts, and are the species most people come into contact with – they are the species most often found roosting in buildings and feeding in urban areas. Brown Long-eared and Noctule Bats are less common but are also found throughout North Merseyside. Daubenton’s Bats feed almost exclusively over water.
Therefore their distribution is localised and has been recorded from Sefton, Liverpool and St Helens. Whiskered/Brandt’s and Natterer’s Bats are rare locally. Whiskered has been located in Sefton and St Helens and Natterer’s only in St. Helens so far.
No information exists about the size of or changes in local populations but it is believed these mirror national trends. A survey and monitoring scheme (Liver Bats)was initiated in north Merseyside in 2007 to try to gauge the size and status of local populations.