- Scientific Name
- Myotis septentrionalis
- Global Conservation Status (IUCN)
- Near Threatened
- United States Conservation Status
Diet: Northern long-eared bats feed on a variety of insects, including moths, beetles, flies, ants, and true-bugs. They capture prey both in the air and off of surfaces, and commonly feed on spiders by gleaning them from their webs.
Fun Fact: When it comes to hunting moths, northern long-eared bats have an advantage. Even moths that are able to hear (tympanate moths) have a hard time hearing the soft, high frequency calls of this bat. This helps the northern long-eared bat sneak up on both resting and flying moths.
Appearance: Northern long-eared bats are usually brown to light brown in color and weigh between 5-8 grams. Their ears are longer than other similar-sized Myotis species, reaching past the nose when pushed forward. They also have longer tails and broader wings than related species, allowing them to be more maneuverable in flight.
Habitat: This bat prefers to roost in tree cavities, crevices and under exfoliating bark. Snags (standing dead or dying trees) are particularly important for this species, though they will also use artificial bat boxes. During the summer, female bats use roost networks, frequently switching between a collection of different tree roosts.
Northern long-eared bats hibernate during the winter, usually in caves or abandoned mines. Bats generally return to the same hibernaculum each year. They often share hibernacula with other hibernating species including Little Brown Bats, Big Brown Bats, and Tricolored Bats.
Conservation Concerns: Major threats against the northern long-eared bat include habitat loss, human disturbance, and white nose syndrome. Populations are estimated to have declined by at least 90% in the last ten years due to white-nose syndrome alone. The bat was listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2015 and up-listed to “Endangered” in November 2022 (in effect starting March 31, 2023).
Bat Conservation International Projects including the northern long-eared bat:
- North American Bat Monitoring Program (NA Bat)
- White Nose Syndrome Research
- Abandoned Mines and Subterranean Habitats
- Conservation of Public Lands