This species is not a confirmed resident and has only been found in one location in Ireland to-date (Co. Wicklow, 2003). It is likely that the Wicklow specimen was a vagrant. The Brandt’s bat is very similar to the whiskered bat so, while is possible that the two have been confused in Ireland in the past, known whiskered bat roosts were re-surveyed by a research team from University College Dublin and Queens University Belfast in 2008-2009 but no Brandt’s bats were found.
On the continent Brandt’s bat is considered a forest bat and is less associated with human settlements than the whiskered bat. It often hunts over water and in forest.
Greater Horseshoe Bat
The greater horseshoe bat is the largest species that has been found in Ireland. In winter 2013 a single male was found hibernating in an underground site in Co. Wexford. The same individual was ringed and found in the same location the following summer. It is assumed that this individual is a vagrant from the Welsh population. The greater horseshoe bat has a wingspan of 33-39cm and weighs from 13g to 34g. This species is protected under Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive. Although its conservation status is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN it has undergone declines in many European countries and it is considered Britain’s rarest bat species.