> Lesser noctule
Although being an average size bat, it is the smallest species of the genus Nyctalus found in continental Portugal. The characteristics that differentiate the lesser noctule are the shorter forearm (less than 46mm) and the presence of bicolour hair.
Behaviour and reproduction:
The mating occurs at the end of July, August and September. A male can attract up to 10 females with mating songs, while flying or resting at the entry of a roost. Births occur in June and a some juvenile bats may reach sexual maturity in the first autumn of their life. The birth of twins is common, contrarily to what happens with most species of bats.
It roosts in natural tree holes and in holes made by woodpeckers. This species, however, can also use artificial structures as shelters. It usually flies in open spaces or above tree canopies. This species shows greater activity in montados, oak forests, and areas of riparian vegetation, while seeming to avoid urban areas or areas of intense agriculture.
The distribution of this species stretches from the European Atlantic regions until the European areas of Russian and Caucasus. It is also present in the Mediterranean regions of Morocco and Algeria. Furthermore there are some isolated records in Pakistan, Afghanistan and in the Indian Himalayas. In Portugal, it has a wide, although heterogeneous, distribution in the whole country, with greater density in the northern regions. The central regions of Alentejo near the border with Spain and the most part of Lower Alentejo have a low occurrence of lesser noctules, having vast areas in which it is apparently absent.
It has the conservation status of ‘insufficient information’ in the Portuguese Red List.