Bats in New Mexico

Yuma BatYUMA BAT - Myotis yumanensis

Weight: 4-6 grams.

Wingspan: 22-24 centimeters.

Distribution: From southwestern British Columbia, through the western United States, and into central Mexico.

Ecology and Behavior: From the cottonwood-lined streams of the desert Southwest to the redwood canyons of the Pacific coast, nearly all habitats of the Yuma bat show a common feature, the presence of open water nearby. It often is found in areas without trees. Although locally abundant, the species seems to be absent in many appar­ently suitable feeding areas. The Yuma bat emerges when it is nearly dark and forages just above the surface of streams and ponds. Night roosts often show little or no evidence of use, but careful searching of abandoned cab­ins, attics, porches, and similar sites usually will reveal guano (feces). In late May and early June, large nursery colonies may form in buildings, caves, mines, and under bridges. As with many other bats, males take no part in care of the young and usually are not found near nursery roosts. Instead, adult males usually scatter and lead somewhat solitary lifestyles. Nursery roosts are quickly abandoned if disturbed. The nursery roosts are vacated in autumn, although the migrational destination of the bats is unknown.

Food Habits: Diet includes beetles and relatively soft-bodied insects such as flies, termites, moths, and mayflies.

Reproduction: One baby is born in late Mayor in June. Females give birth for the first time in the summer following their own birth.

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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