News and events

We are going batty for bats this October!

In winter, bats go into a hibernation-like state and this is called torpor. Their metabolic rate slows and their body temperature lowers which means they will use less energy. They can survive on the fat they have stored while their insect food source is unavailable in the cold months. Pipistrelles are the most common British bats, weighing around 5 grams (same as a 20p piece) and a single pipistrelle can eat 3,000 tiny insects in just one night!

During hibernation, bats need roosts that are cool and remain at a constant temperature and sometimes they may even find suitable hibernation spots underground such as in caves.

October is when they start to prepare for hibernation however first, more mating takes place (this also happens in September). They build up their fat reserves which is crucial to survive the winter. They also start looking for suitable hibernation sites (Pipistrelles are the most likely to roost in buildings).

The National RSPCA rehabilitate

around 250 bats each year!

The National RSPCA have cared for more than 15 bat species, including some less common ones, such as barbastelle, grey long-eared, lesser horseshoe and serotine

  • There are over 1,400 species of bats worldwide. Bats can be found on nearly every part of the planet except in extreme deserts and polar regions.
  • Baby bats are called ‘Pups’.
  • All UK bat species use echolocation to navigate and hunt for insects in the dark.
  • Bats are the only true flying mammals in the world.
  • A tiny pipistrelle can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night.
  • Things we get from bat-adapted plants include dates, vanilla, bananas, breadfruit, guavas, Iroko timber, balsa wood, sisal, Tequila and chewing gum!
  • Bats are more closely related to humans than they are to mice.
  • The majority of the world’s bats eat insects – just like British bats. In the tropics bats also eat foods like fruit, flowers, frogs, fish, blood, even other bats.
  • Bats usually only have one baby a year and can live for up to 30 years.

Baby bats (pups)

Adult bats can be mistaken for babies as people don’t realise how small they can be!

If you suspect that you’ve found a baby bat, call the Bat Conservation Trust on 0345 130 0228, who can put you in touch with your local bat carer. Treat baby bats very carefully – if you have to pick them up, handle with gloves, or use a soft towel.

Remember where you found the bat as it may be possible to return to its mother.

Sick or injured bats

If you can safely reach the bat, the next step is to contain it in a box. Make sure you wear gloves and follow these steps from the Bat Conservation Trust.

Once contained you can take it to a vet, your local wildlife rehabilitator, or If you are unable to transport the bat, call the National RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

Always seek advice from the Bat Conservation Trust if you are unsure on what to do.

EmmaWe are going batty for bats this October!