Published: 16:12, 05 October 2019
| Updated: 10:52, 09 October 2019
An elusive species of bat not seen in Kent for more than 100 years has been spotted in the county, conservationists have revealed.
Echolocation signals of the greater horseshoe bat have been picked up along the east Kent coast for the first time since 1904.
The creature’s ultrasonic warbling signals were recorded at two locations near the coast in the space of a month earlier this summer.
Experts have since verified the unusual recordings and confirmed that the greater horseshoe has returned to Kent.
The reasoning behind the sudden reappearance is not yet known - with climate change potentially being one of the factors.
Britain has lost more than 90% of this bat’s population over the past century, however, the discovery Kent is new boost.
The Bat Conservation Trust is thrilled to have the rare species - which is Europe's largest bat - return to the south east.
A statement reads: "The reasons for the presence of this species in Kent are currently unknown.
"It is possible that an individual bat was blown off course or has travelled over from France, or that a bat has dispersed across the UK, from strongholds in the west of England or Wales. It is also possible that the species is now able to expand its range into Kent due to climatic changes."
More by this authorJoe Wright