Bats are a major predator of insects and play a key role in the food chain. They have an extraordinary ability to travel large distances. There are 18 species of bat in the UK, all of which have been recorded in Sussex. The majority are residents but some are occasional visitors. Not all bats are directly associated with wetlands, however, waterways and ponds provide bats with the water they need to re-hydrate as well as attracting midges and other flying insects which provide a ready feast for bats.
In Sussex we have nationally important breeding populations of barbastelle bat in and . Tracking and flight line mapping of these species has shown that they rely heavily on floodplain grasslands as their core feeding grounds. The daubenton’s bat is often seen to skim over the top of the water to feed on a variety of water insects, and pipistrelle’s will often feed over a nearby river or pond.
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