Longevity of Rhinolophid Bats in Britain


NUMBERED aluminium bands which are used to study the movements of bats are also of value in providing specific information concerning age1. In Britain, the first large scale bat-banding experiment was commenced in Devon in 1948 (ref. 2) and during recent years it has been gratifying to note the continued survival of a number of greater horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) banded during the early stages of that experiment. Of particular interest has been the finding, on October 28, 1967, of greater horseshoe No. 918 (male). This bat, found in a small mine adit near Holne, in south Devon, was originally banded in a cave at Buckfastleigh, about 3 miles away, on March 4, 1949. Its age, when first handled, was not known, but because for this species birth invariably occurs only in mid-summer, usually early in July, this bat could not have been born later than July 1948. At the time of its most recent finding it must therefore have been at least 19.25 yr old.

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  1. 1

    Hooper, J. H. D., and Hooper, W. M., Proc. Zool. Soc., 145 (1), 146 (1965).

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  2. 2

    Hooper, J. H. D., Hooper, W. M., and Shaw, T. R., Nature, 167, 555 (1951).

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HOOPER, J., HOOPER, W. Longevity of Rhinolophid Bats in Britain. Nature 216, 1135–1136 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/2161135a0

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