Bats in China


ivory bats at the Guangzhou folk museum: photo by Nigel Birch

Bats in China

The aim of this site is to provide information about the bat fauna of China. With over 100 species recognised, China has one of the richest bat faunas in the Palaearctic. We aim to assist Chinese visitors wanting to know more about their precious resource, and visitors from other nations who require information about Chinese bats. Because most of the available knowledge about bats in China has been written in Chinese, we hope that this site will make the information available to a wider audience.


This site is part of a project on bat conservation in China funded by the Darwin Initiative. The project is led by Professor Gareth Jones (University of Bristol) and Professor Shuyi Zhang (School of Life Science, East Normal China University, Shanghai and Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing). Since 2001 Professors Jones and Zhang have been working on bat biodiversity in China. They have established a Centre for Bat Research near Beijing, and have developed an education centre nearby. The web site has been developed by Gareth Jones, with considerable input from Jinshuo Zhang.

In this site, you can find information about a wide range of Chinese bat species, much of which is based on our own research. For each species, we provide photographs, a morphological description, and where possible information on life history, distribution, habitat, roost sites and roosting patterns, emergence and flight pattern, foraging behaviour, echolocation calls and status and protection. We give spectrograms and audio files of time-expanded echolocation calls where we can, and links to gene sequences. We hope that the information provided will facilitate identification and reduce the need to take specimens from the field. Seventy-two of China's bat species have web pages here: records exist for about another 50 species, but many of these are based on dubious records, wrongly-applied synonyms, or single records. Most of the species frequently encountered in China away from the far north and west are covered here. Over 100 references are cited for further information, and a page of online resources can be accessed.

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