The common pipistrelle bat is a very small species of bat that is native to the British Isles; in fact it is the smallest of the UK’s 18 species. It has a wing span of about 22 to 25 centimetres with an average life span of 4-5 years.
It is a species of conservation concern in the UK, and a Species Action Plan has been created to restore its population to pre-1979 levels. Its decline has been attributed to a loss of foraging habitat due to agriculture intensification, and it is on the Red List for Britain’s Mammals, although it is currently categorised as of Least Concern.
These bats are common to woodland and farmland but are also found in towns, where the females roost in lofts and buildings when rearing young. They can often be seen at dusk flitting among trees and hedgerows seeking insects to eat. During the summer, females form maternity colonies and have just a single pup each. They hibernate over winter, usually between November and April, but may come out to feed on warm days.