Welsh rare bats all set to bite back

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The Independent Online
Welsh bats are poised for a population explosion. Scientists have launched a radio monitoring programme to track the Greater Horseshoe Bat to find out what it likes to eat and where it goes for its food.

The Countryside Council for Wales hopes that by identifying and safeguarding food stocks the population can be increased by 25 per cent over the next 12 years. Greater Horseshoe Bat populations have dramatically declined this century and it is now found only at three sites in Wales and in South- west England. Changes in farming practice, particularly the widespread use of pesticides, have been blamed for the animal's disappearance.

The plans for the bat are part of a major biodiversity plan drawn up by the CCW to save and protect 54 endangered species and 12 key habitats in Wales.

Among other species being safeguarded are the medicinal leech, the brown hare, corn-crake, sand lizard, black bog ant and greater crested newt.