Bats are protected under UK and Irish law. A summary of the relevant UK law can be viewed here.
Recent data shows that Nathusius' pipistrelle may be widespead but rare in Britain and Ireland. It is therefore considered vulnerable. At present, threats to the species include:
- Maternity roost sites in buildings and trees can be disturbed, damaged or destroyed by
inappropriate land management or development.
- Loss of hibernation roost sites in buildings, trees and underground sites can occur for similar
reasons to those above.
- Destruction of habitats such as riparian, wetland, woodland and unimproved grassland has
resulted in the loss of insect-rich feeding habitats.
Land use Changes
- Loss and decline of linear landscape features (e.g. tree lines, hedgerows, ditches) remove
important flyways and flight line features along which bats hunt for insect prey.
- The trend for opening up land to produce large uniform fields has led to a decrease in habitat
diversity, and consequently a loss of feeding habitat and decline of insect prey.
- May be effected by badly sited windfarms due to its migratory behaviour.
Use of Pesticides and other chemicals
- The widespread use of pesticides in both the garden and the wider countryside has lead to a
decline in the presence of insect prey.
- The use of inappropriate timber treatment chemicals at roost sites (i.e. those that are toxic
and persistent) can be directly harmful to bats, and decrease the availability of roost sites.
- There has been a huge increase in the number of new and proposed wind turbines both on and offshore in recent years. There is a lot of evidence to show that wind turbines can have a devastating impact upon bat populations with large numbers of individuals being killed. Migratory species, such as Nathusius' pipistrelles are particularly susceptible, especially if turbines are erected along regular migratory routes. In the UK there is little information on where these routes occur and therefore it is vital that this information is obtained but also that appropriate surveys are carried out to inform the planning system.