Protected species of the month - brown long-eared bat

With the onset of spring and warmer weather, in the evenings one of the most common bat species in Latvia - brown long-eared bat could be observed.

The brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus is a small (up to 5 cm long) flying mammal with gray-brown hair. It can be safely distinguished from other bats by its large and long ears. In flight, long ears are used for echolocation, but when not flying, the ears bend. Brown long-eared bats are wintering in various cellars, including caves. During hibernation, the bat hides its large ears under its wings.

In summer, brown long-eared bats' females form colonies in safe hiding places - attics, wall crevices, cavities, bird cages and elsewhere. Males also stay in similar places during the day. In Latvia, brown long-eared bats are widespread throughout the territory and are very common.

Brown long-eared bats feed at night, catching various invertebrates from leaves and branches - insects and their larvae, spiders.

Brown long-eared bats, like other bats found in Latvia and Europe, are especially protected. Bats are threatened by a variety of factors, such as the loss of habitats and food , changes in the landscape, such as intensification of agricultural lands, deforestation and winter disturbance.

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