- Scientific Name
- Chrotopterus auritus
- Global Conservation Status (IUCN)
- Least Concern
Big-eared woolly bats are carnivorous, with about 70% of their diet consisting of small vertebrates such as rodents, opossum, birds, lizards, frogs, and other bats. They are opportunistic hunters and will also feed on insects, fruit and even leaves.
Fun Fact: Newborn woolly bat pups are born roughly 32% of the size of the mother, after a gestation period of 3 to 4 months. Females generally only give birth to one pup a year.
Appearance: Sometimes called the woolly false vampire bat, this bat has dense, woolly black grey fur. The second largest bats in the western hemisphere, they weigh between 75 – 96 grams with a wing span of about 1.5 feet (0.5 meters). They have large, rounded ears and a large, broad nose leaf at the end of their elongated skull.
Habitat: Big-eared woolly bats tend to prefer mature tropical forests and are often reported to live near streams. They usually roost in hollow trees, caves, mines, and Mayan ruins. Colonies are small (less than ten individuals), frequently consisting of a male-female adult pair and their pups. As perch hunters who hang from a branch and wait for prey to scurry by, big-eared woolly bats prefer older, well-preserve forests with plenty of potential hunting perches. They will also hunt along forest edges, though tend to avoid forests with dense, short trees.
Conservation Concerns: The big-eared woolly bat is currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, but is listed as threatened by the Mexican government (NOM-59-SEMARNAT – 2001). Their preferences for more mature forests place them at risk for habitat loss and fragmentation.
BCI Conservation Projects including the Big-eared wooly bat:
Bonato, V., Facure, K. G., & Uieda, W. (2004). Food habits of bats of subfamily Vampyrinae in Brazil. Journal of Mammalogy, 85(4), 708-713.
Uieda, W., Sato, T. M., Carvalho, M. C. D., & Bonato, V. (2007). Fruits as unusual food items of the carnivorous bat Chrotopterus auritus (Mammalia, Phyllostomidae) from southeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 24, 844-847.
Medellín, R. A. (1989). Chrotopterus auritus. Mammalian species, (343), 1-5.
Vleut, I., Carter, G. G., & Medellín, R. A. (2019). Movement ecology of the carnivorous woolly false vampire bat (Chrotopterus auritus) in southern Mexico. Plos one, 14(7), e0220504. Barquez, R., Perez, S., Miller, B. & Diaz, M. (2015). Chrotopterus auritus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T4811A22042605. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T4811A22042605.en.