Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Barbastella barbastellus - Barbastelle

Range & Status

Rarely found. Possibly one of Europe' s rarest bats and declining throughout. Records scattered over southern Britain. Estimates of a resident population size unreliable.

Regional Distribution

This is a rare but widespread species in Cornwall. There are two known Cornish breeding colonies. A survey of suitable woodlands in Cornwall has found their distribution to reach the length and breadth of Cornwall, wherever suitable woodlands are present. The number of 1km squares in which it has been recorded has gone from six to five since the last edition of the Red Data Book but for Barbastelle it appears evident that not all records have been entered into the system. It is likely that roosts have existed in or near Cornish woodlands all along but only now have methods of surveying allowed positive identification. It is likely

that their numbers are at a low level compared to most other bat species in Cornwall.

Habitat & Ecology

Seems to prefer wooded river valleys and meadows, roosting in buildings or trees. In Cornwall found in a barns and trees. It is a cold-resistant species hibernating in more exposed areas of underground sites or trees.


Loss of trees, reduction of insects and water pollution.


Extensive legal protection detailed in Introduction. Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995). UK BAP Priority Species + local BAP.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.