The Greater Horseshoe Bat ( Rhinolophe bat )
The Vallon de l'Urugne site is made up of 7 bats species : Lesser Murine, Lesser Horseshoe Bat, Lesser-eared Murine, Greater Murine, Barbary, Bechstein's Murun and Greater Horseshoe Bat. This last species is, as its name suggests, the largest of that of the European horseshoe bats. The Greater Horseshoe Bats frequent caves in winter and the roof spaces of buildings in summer. Rarer than the Lesser Horseshoe Bat, it is found in unspoiled and unpolluted landscapes and in spaces that favor extensive farming and hedgerow landscapes whose spaces are structured by hedges.
The Vallon de l'Urugne is one of the main wintering sites for the Greater Horseshoe Bat in Occitania. This bat hibernates from September-October to April and when it awakes in the spring gathers in large colonies. The female then gives birth to a single pup in late spring or early summer. It has a very particular hunting technique, on the lookout: it remains alone, hanging from a branch, upside down, waiting for its prey to pass nearby. Since 1960, this species of bat has seen its population fall critically, due to too sudden degradation of its natural habitat. This is why the Vallon de l'Urugne is now classified as a natura 2000 area and that monitoring of the species is implemented.