Species and habitat description

The western barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus), also known as the barbastelle or barbastelle bat, is a European bat. It has a short nose, small eyes and wide ears. The Western Barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus) forages in mature woodland and woodland edges, feeding mostly on large moths. In summer, roosting sites occur in mature woodlands and occasionally in older buildings. This bat shows a high fidelity to roosting and foraging areas but not to single trees, which are changed frequently. In winter the hibernation may start in trees, but later underground sites are preferred. Underground habitats may be of any type, but usually consist of very cold sites. Recent data suggest that hibernacula are visited in the pre-hibernation period and used also as breeding sites. The Western Barbastelle is usually found in smaller numbers (up to 50) within natural caves, but in regions where these are missing it aggregates in large groups within mines and bunkers.

Major threats

Loss of old mature woodland and ancient trees with loose bark or wood crevices (reforested areas are not suitable for this species); disturbance and loss of underground habitats, disturbance and loss of roost sites in older buildings.

Specific conservation action

The species can be found in all of the four project sites of the BfNPD. We will create “slowly dying trees” in the forests to have more logs with peeling bark. We will also maintain and create forest edges and increase the structural and composition diversity the project sites.

Related project areas

Piraccini, R. 2016. Barbastella barbastellus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T2553A22029285. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T2553A22029285.en.