Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Rare bats thrive in island woods

Barbastelle bats (pic by Hugh Clark)
There are more than 115 Barbastelle bats living in a single tree

The Isle of Wight is Europe's most important woodland bat habitat, the Forestry Commission has claimed.

Two of the UK's rarest species - the Bechstein's and Barbastelle bats - have been found in woodland areas including Parkhurst Forest, near Newport.

A study found more than 20 maternity roosts on the island, compared with one in the whole of the UK in 1998.

One split ancient oak in the forest is thought to be home to 115 Barbastelle bats.

It is thought to be the largest single maternity roost for the species in the country.

Forestry Commission ecologist Jay Doyle said: "It came as a pleasing surprise that this study found the bats to be much more widely distributed than was previously thought."

The Forestry Commission introduced its Woodscape programme in 2001, a scheme which aims to rejuvenate the island's woodlands.

Parkshurst Forest is also a haven for red squirrels and woodpeckers and is the last known habitat of the rare pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly on the island.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
'Tantalising' sounds of rare bat
18 Oct 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Rare bat rewrites record books
21 Sep 09 |  Science & Environment
The bat that came out of the dark
14 Sep 09 |  Earth News
Rare bat spotted near Bristol
25 Aug 09 |  Nature

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific