Harder to Find than a Four-Leaf Clover: 9 of Ireland's Most Threatened Species

Lesser Horseshoe Bat

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lesser horseshoe bat ireland photo
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The population of Lesser Horseshoe bats in Ireland still hovers somewhere around 9,500 members -- which isn't too low, until you consider that the bat has gone extinct in much of the rest of Europe. It's also the only native Irish bat that's part of the Rhinolophidae family (so named for flaps of skin surrounding its nostrils, which distinguish it from bats in the Vespertillionidae family).

According to the Bat Conservation Ireland organization, the Lesser Horseshoe is also the only Irish bat that "hangs freely by its feet and wraps its wings around its body."

Creeped out by bats? Then steer clear of old buildings (like houses, stables, and cottages) or caves and cellars -- those are the places you're most likely to find it roosting or hibernating.

Photo: Jessicajil/Creative Commons