This weekend the first female Nathusius’ pipistrelle ever caught in Cambridgeshire was caught at RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes.

The Nathusius’ pipistrelle (Pipistrellus nathusii) is a migratory bat species found at areas of open water throughout the UK. This small species is found from Western Europe to Asia but, to date, there are only around 1200 records in Great Britain and Ireland. It is not yet known whether this bat is rare, or just under recorded.

The National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project is trying to change that. The project, which was launched with a grant from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, aims to improve the understanding of the ecology, current status and conservation threats to this species. In particular, researchers want to determine the migratory origins of Nathusius’ pipistrelle in the UK.

 To collect this information, harp traps and acoustic lures are used in activity hotspots, operated by experienced, licensed individuals. This time of year is peak time for their migration and so the ideal time to trap! The group caught four in total – the highest number ever caught by the group. If that wasn’t enough, one of these was a female – the first ever caught in the county of Cambridgeshire!

Thanks to Jonathan Durwood for the picture, and to Cambridgeshire Bat Group for letting us know about their exciting news!

If people would like to find out more about the National Nathusius Pipistrelle Project they can take a look at the Bat Conservation Trust website at: