Greater horseshoes hibernating in a cave in Croatia (© D Hamidović, Croatian Biospeleological Society) 
Our European Bats 
Across Europe, we are lucky enough to have 45 species of bat. Globally, bats account for around a fifth of our mammal species. 
 
Bats are an important part of our natural heritage, and indicators of a green and healthy environment, so their future is directly linked to our quality of life and the quality of our environment. 
 
Sadly, many of our European bats are under threat and some have already become extinct in certain countries. 
 
 
 
The main threats to bats in Europe include habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, development and persecution leading to: 
 
loss of bat roosts (such as in buildings, trees, underground sites and  
bridges) 
loss of insect rich feeding areas disturbance and direct persecution of bats  
by people due to intolerance and lack of understanding. 
 
In Europe, bats eat beetles, flies and moths and other insects - with the exception of one – the Egyptian fruit bat. Europe’s bats contribute to pest control and some also serve as pollinators and seed dispersers of many plants important to humans. For further information about bats species found in Europe and their conservation visit Eurobats  
Mediterranean and greater horseshoe nursery roost in a former railway tunnel  
(© D Hamidovic Croatian Biospeleological Society) 
Brandt's bat (© Hugh Clark / Bat Conservation Trust) 
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