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Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens

AG Säugetierkunde in NRW

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Nathusius′s pipistrelle

Rote Liste NRW:

Pipistrellus nathusii




Foto: Mnolf
With a body size of 5 to 6 cm and a weight of 6 to 10 grams, Nathusius′ Pipistrelle is one of the smaller bats of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its forearm measures 33 to 37 mm. From the very similar Common Pipistrelle, it can be distinguished by the contrasting light belly and the missing facial mask. It uses almost frequency-constant calls in the range of 34 to 41 kHz. Distributed throughout almost all of Europe, the species occupies roosts not just in tree cavities or in crevices behind protruding bark but also in bat boxes and crevices on buildings. Nursery roosts can count up to 200 individuals. For hibernacula, woodpiles, tree cavities and rock crevices are used.
Nathusius Bat displays a strong tie to bodies of water. There it hunts small flying insects like mosquitoes and caddis flies. In (moist) deciduous forests and parks it can also be regularly encountered.
In late summer Nathusius′ Bat sets out on a long migration from Northeast to Southwest. Distances of 1900 km, and in single nights up to 90 km, are covered. Along this route, males occupy exposed roosts for mating. On these long migrations Nathusius′ Bats have to cross many roads and wind farms. Thus, many animals are hit by traffic, and the species contributes the second-largest portion of bat mortality regarding wind turbines. Through the loss of insect-rich moist habitats, Nathusius′ Bats are especially threatened, because in this way, the food base is restricted, and in highly managed forests, the availability of roost is reduced. In NRW, Nathusius′ Bats are widely distributed in the lowlands during the mating and migration period and not rare because they apparently migrate through the land in a broad front. In summer, the males too are in suitable nursery colonies and increasingly hibernating Nathusius′ Bats are reported. The only known nursery roost with about 50 females in NRW, in Recklinghausen County, has been absent for the past 2-3 years.
Regarding the assessment of the threat of Nathusius′ Bat in NRW, one has to distinguish between resident populations and migrating animals. While the status of migrating animals is classified as non-threatened for NRW, it is to be considered as „extremely rare and thus potentially threatened“ with regard to the presence of nursery colonies.


Volker Runkel


Runkel V (2023): Rauhautfledermaus (Pipistrellus nathusii).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27



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