Greater Horseshoe Bats: 50 years of research in south-west Wales
Robert Stebbings first started to research Greater Horseshoe Bats in Dorset in 1960, but after the late Tom McOwat reported several findings of this species in derelict buildings and caves in West Wales, it was clear that further surveys were needed. In this article, Robert Stebbings describes what this work involved and the fascinating insights they gained about this enigmatic species.
As a group of mammals, bats had until the relatively recent past received little attention or detailed investigation into their habits, and especially their habitat requirements. Post-war observations in the 1950s and 1960s, however, began to suggest that the Greater Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum had declined in numbers and therefore required conservation measures (Stebbings & Griffith 1984).