Nathusius’ pipistrelle

(Pipistrellus nathusii)
The species is distributed from Western Europe to the Urals, the Caucasus and Western Asia Minor, South Asia.
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Distribution of the species

The species is distributed from Western Europe to the Urals, the Caucasus and Western Asia Minor, South Asia. In Bulgaria the species has a clear annual dynamic of its number on the territory of the country. During the autumn period its number reaches its maximum, as the migrating groups of Nathusius’ pipistrelle find especially favorable conditions for feeding in wetlands.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

The Nathusius’ pipistrelle is a small bat species. The top of the fur is brown, and the bottom – grey-brown, sometimes there is a dark spot on the shoulders. The face, ears and membranes are dark brown to black. The species inhabits deciduous and mixed forests, is often found in villages, gardens, parks and adheres to water areas – lakes, large rivers. It feeds on small flying, mostly two-winged insects. Hunts intensively in the first half of the night on the edge of forests and parks, small meadows and clearings about 2-6 m above the ground. For shelter prefers tree hollows with a narrow vertical opening, but also cavities under the bark of trees and narrow cracks in buildings. It burrows into the hollows between the unevenness of the walls, and does not hang like other bat species in similar shelters. In the spring (April, May) it forms small colonies, composed mainly of females. During the summer their number increases and together with the off springs reaches 100-150 specimens. Summer and winter colonies are in hollows of trees, cracks in rocks and walls of buildings and more. Copulation is in September-November. Immediately before this period, the males occupy individual territories, perform demonstration flights and emit signal sounds. Each male has an “incoming” harem of 1-10 females. Females often return to the shelters where they were born to form reproductive colonies. 1-2 naked and blind offsprings are born in June.

Conservation status


Conservation state

The Nathusius’ pipistrelle is strictly protected species included in Annexes 2 and 3 of the Biodiversity Act (BDA); Annex II of the Bern Convention and Bonn Convention. The species is also included in Annex IV of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive). The bat is included in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species with category Least Concern (LC).


*Note: For the description of bats is used information from: Golemanski, V. & al. (eds). 2015. Red Data Book of the Republic of Bulgaria. Vol. 2. Animals. BAS & MoEW, Sofia [English ed.: ISBN 978-954-9746-22-8 (IBER – BAS), 978-954-8497-18-3 (MoEW)]; the website of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature); the website of the Federation of nature conservation NGOs “Green Balkans”.