New bat spotted on the Rock

New bat spotted on the Rock

A species of bat never before spotted in Gibraltar has been found deep inside the Rock by the Gibraltar Museum team.

Dr Geraldine Finlayson of the Gibraltar Museum found the bat while working deep inside the Rock and immediately reported her findings to specialists at the museum’s Natural History Department last Friday.

The bat is believed to be a Greater Horseshoe Bat, a species never been recorded in Gibraltar before.

“This is therefore an extremely important find. This particular individual was a juvenile female, born this year and was probably dispersing from its birth site in search of new feeding grounds,” said a spokesperson for the Gibraltar Museum.

The bat was found in the dark depths of a cave but was soon recognised as one not being the usual species for Gibraltar.

From the photographs which they saw, recognizing it to be a species of horseshoe bat, a team from the Gib-Bats project was quickly dispatched.

“It is not often you find a new species on the Rock, especially a mammal.”

After several hours of work the team, composed of licensed bat specialists Stewart Finlayson and Giovanni Santini, with Dr Rhian Guillem of the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society and student trainee Kelsey Rowbottom of the Gibraltar Museum, the bat was identified as a Greater Horseshoe Bat – Rhinolophus ferrumequinum.

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