Bats in New Mexico

Western Long-eared Bat


Weight: 5-8 grams.

Wingspan: 25-29 centimeters.

Distribution: Western Canada, western United States, arid Baja California, Mexico.

Ecology and Behavior: Occurs in a variety of habitats over its range in North America, but mostly in forested areas. In the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, for example, it occurs from dry forest to subalpine forest, especially where broken rock outcroppings prevail. Where suitable roosting sites are available, this species also is found in' semiarid shrublands, sage, chaparral, and agri­cultural areas. Females form small maternity colonies in summer, whereas males and non-pregnant females live singly or in small groups, occasionally occupying the same site as a maternity colony, but roosting apart: from it. Groups of 12-30 individuals have been found in roosts. Daytime roosts are known to include abandoned buildings, hollow tree loose slabs of bark, timbers of unused railroad trestles, caves and mines, fissures of cliffs, are sink holes. This species emerges at dusk, and its flight is slow and maneuverable as it forages between and within the treetops and over woodland ponds. Predators may include snakes, raccoons, hawks, and owls.

Food Habits: Foods include moths, beetles, flies, net-winged insects, and true bugs. Males eat significantly more moths than do females.

Reproduction: One baby is born in late June or early July. Record lifespan is 22 years.

Status of Populations: Common.

Thanks to T. L. Best, J. S. Altenbach, and M. J. Harvey for permission to reprint portions of Bats of the Western United States, 1998.

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