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The long-legged myotis is one of western America's most widely distributed bat species. It is found from the Tongas National Forest in Alaska, south, through all of the western U.S. and into the Baja peninsula, and also along the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. Long-legged myotis are especially dependent on wooded habitats from pinon- juniper to coniferous forests, usually at elevations of 4,000 to 9,000 feet. Radio-tracking studies have identified maternity roosts beneath bark and in other cavities. Most nursery colonies live in at least 100 year-old trees that provide crevices or exfoliating bark.
These typically are located in openings or along forest edges where they receive a large amount of daily sun. Though maternity colonies are most often formed in tree cavities or under loose bark, they also are found in rock crevices, cliffs, and buildings. Long-legged myotis forage over ponds, streams, water tanks, and in forest clearings, often on moths. Few winter records exist in the West. Because these and many other forest bats are widely dispersed in low numbers, across rugged landscapes, population monitoring is a unique challenge.