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Bat population plummets over two decades

Pressure from urban development has led to a dramatic decline in Gibraltar’s bat population, which has virtually disappeared over the past 20 years.

Researchers estimate that the resident population of flying mammals has plummeted by nearly 99% in that period. Two decades ago, there were tens of thousands of bats on the Rock. Now, some species can be counted in the hundreds, while others have become extinct here altogether.

“Nearly 99% of the entire population of bats in Gibraltar has disappeared in the last 20 years,” said Gibraltar Bats project member Stewart Finlayson.

“We have started this project, we are now looking out for them and we have support from the necessary bodies to try and change it.”

“We are giving this our best shot between everyone, the department of the environment have bought bat boxes and items like that which are being fitted on various sites around Gib, to try and give these animals a chance.”

The problem is not unique to Gibraltar. Globally the overwhelming majority of bat species are either critically endangered or endangered.


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