We are delighted to announce that we have discovered a new bat species for Jersey. Myotis alcathoe, which is a rare bat in the UK, was captured in our Harp trap on 13 May 2016 in St. Catherine’s woods during a session with Bob Cornes that formed part of our Woodland project.
We understand that this bat can be found on the Cherbourg peninsula but it is a first for Jersey.
It was first described in 2001 in Greece and first officially discovered in the UK in 2010. It is considered Data Deficient in the IUCN redlist. Considered to be one of the smallest Myotis, it inhabits forests and woodland which are associated with water bodies and it is a tree dwelling species.
Very similar in appearance to the Whiskered and Brandt’s bats respectively, it is difficult to identify although dentition is useful. We identified this bat through sending droppings to Warwick University for DNA testing. The result came back a positive for Myotis alcathoe.
We are conducting a thorough survey during the spring/summer months and expect to find other bat species previously unknown to Jersey.