Alpine Long-eared Bats in the South of France

Over Easter I took my kids down to Toulon in the south of France to stay with my friends Jean-Michel and Mary Bompar http://bompar-photo-nature.fr/.

The weather wasn’t great. We tried to catch Pine Voles (and caught a lot of traps full of soil but no animals), Water Shrews and Snow Voles (again none of each). We were more successful with the bats though, catching my target – an Alpine Long-eared Bat (Plecotus macrobullaris) – near Andon. We also caught a couple of Daubenton’s bats, saw a lot of Roe Deer around Andon and in the Camp Militaire de Canjuers as well as what appeared to be a Polecat late at night (though they are apparently very rare in the area so it the fleeting glimpse could have been of something else). The military camp, about 30km west of Grasse, is an interesting area. It has been protected for about 50 years and no people live within the area so it is now very rich in wildlife. Wolves are resident and Lynxes are reported every year (mainly by jogging soldiers). The D25 runs through the camp but if you leave the road you run the risk of being arrested or flattened by a shell.

Thanks again to JM and Mary for their spectacular hospitality and for yet another (now the 10th) new mammal JM has produced for me over the past 2 years. Jon Mountain Long-eared Bat.

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