A record-breaking bat that fought all obstacles in a marathon 1,254 mile journey from the UK to Russia is believed to have been killed by a house cat.
The thumb-sized Hathusius’ pipistrelle that weighs barely eight grams was found badly injured in the village of Molgino, western Russia and was taken to a bat sanctuary where it later died.
It is most likely to have been killed by a domestic cat, said the UK’s Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) in a statement.
What was amazing was the journey that the bat had covered which is further than any known other flying from the UK.
The bat had a ring on its arm which belonged to London Zoo and showed that it had been caught near to Heathrow Airport by a volunteer bat recorder in 2016 said the BCT statement.
"This is a remarkable journey and the longest one we know of any bat from Britain across Europe," Lisa Worledge, head of conservation services at BCT.
It is also believed to be the second longest journey ever recorded by a bat which was set by a Nathusius’ pipistrelle in 2019 who went all the way from Latvia to Spain, a distance of 1,381 miles.
"The movements of Nathusius' pipistrelles around the UK and between the UK and the continent remain largely mysterious," Worledge said.
“This journey is an exciting scientific finding and another piece in the puzzle of bat migration."
There is little data on the comings and goings of the Nathusius’ pipistrelle bats in the UK with the BCT only starting to record the numbers since 2014 and since then there have been more than 2,600 listed.
The BCT hopes to learn more about the bat which they believe to be vulnerable to climate change and they are examining its migration routes and breeding success amongst other data.
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