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.

Myotis mystacinus - Whiskered Bat

Range & Status

Before 1970 Whiskered and Brandt' s bats, which are difficult to tell apart, were regarded as a single species, the Whiskered Bat, and are still sometimes recorded as Whiskered/Brandt' s. Consequently, the current situation regarding the distribution of the Whiskered Bat is not entirely clear. With the exception of the more northerly regions, this species is widespread throughout Europe with the main concentration in the central region. It is scattered throughout England and Wales with a smaller number in Scotland and is probably declining. The suggested population is 30,500 for England, 1500 for Scotland and 8,000 for Wales (Harris et al ., 1995).

Regional Distribution

Although widespread in Cornwall the numbers are unknown but it is considered to be locally common. Between 1980 and 1996 it was recorded in 9 1km squares whilst from 2000-2008 this had increased to 25 1km squares. This apparent increase is likely to be due to the limitations and variables listed in the Introduction plus better recognition and recording of closely related Brandt' s bats, rather than real increase.

Habitat & Ecology

Meadows, gardens, villages, parks, woodland edge and hedgerows are the main hunting grounds. In summer it roosts mainly in buildings, occasionally trees, and hibernates in mines or caves in winter.


See Introduction. Disturbance in roosts and inappropriate woodland management.


Extensive legal protection detailed in Introduction. At low risk of extinction worldwide (IUCN status, 2001).


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.