BC's Bat Species

There are 16 species of bats in BC (17 if you count the one record of a Big Free-tailed bat (Nyctinomops macrotis) that washed up in New Westminster in 1938), but not all of them occur in all parts of the Province. There is still a great deal to learn about bats in British Columbia, and with increased survey effort and better identification tools, our understanding of bat species distribution may change.

There are also accidental records of the Mexican free-tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) and the Canyon Bat (Parastrellus hesperus) in BC.

 

 

 

 

Scientific Name

 

 

Status

BC Ministry of Environment Region

Vancouver Island

Lower Mainland

Sunshine Coast

Thompson

Kootenay

Cariboo

Skeena

Omineca

Okanagan

Peace

Spotted Bat

Euderma maculatum

SC1; Blue (BC)

 

 

 

x

 

x

 

 

x

 

Pallid Bat

Antrozous pallidus

T1; Red (BC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

Townsend’s Big-eared Bat

Corynorhinus townsendii

Blue (BC)

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

x

 

Hoary Bat

Lasiurus cinereus

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Eastern Red Bat

Lasiurus borealis

Red (BC)

 

 

 

 

?

 

 

 

x

x

Silver-haired Bat

Lasionycteris noctivagans

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Big Brown Bat

Eptesicus fuscus

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Yuma Myotis

Myotis yumanensis

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

x

 

Californian Myotis

Myotis californicus

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

x

 

Western Small-footed Myotis

Myotis ciliolabrum

Blue (BC)

 

 

 

x

x

x

 

 

x

 

Northern Myotis

Myotis septentrionalis

E1; Blue (BC)

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

x

 

x

Long-legged Myotis

Myotis volans

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Little Brown Myotis

Myotis lucifugus

E1

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Fringed Myotis

Myotis thysanodes

Blue (BC)

?

?

?

x

x

x

 

 

x

 

Long-eared Myotis

Myotis evotis

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Canyon bat

Parastrellus hesperus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(x)2

 

Mexican Free-tailed Bat

Tadarida brasiliensis

 

(x)2

(x)2

(x)2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 COSEWIC Status (federal): E = Endangered,T = Threatened, SC = Special Concern, 2 Acoustic records only; currently

 

Known Roosting Preferences:
Bats of British Columbia (BC) in summer and winter (modified from Craig and Holroyd 2004).

Common Name

Summer Roosts

Winter Roosts

Buildings

Bat House User

Natural roosts

Spotted Bat

 

 

Cliffs

Cliffs, mines

Pallid Bat

Potentially

 

Cliffs, rock outcrops, snags, build- ings, mines, orchard

Rock crevices?

Townsend’s Big-eared Bat

Common

Yes, big ones!

Cliffs, caves, buildings, mines

Mines, caves, rock crevices

Hoary Bat

 

 

Snags, trees

Migrates

Eastern Red Bat

 

 

Trees

Migrates

Silver-haired Bat

 

 

Trees, snags (cottonwoods)

Snags, mines, buildings, wood piles, rock piles

Big Brown Bat

Common

Yes

Snags, cliffs, rock crevices

Buildings, mines

Yuma Myotis

Common

Yes

Snags, rock crevices, mines, bridges

Mines

Californian Myotis

Occasional

Yes

Snags, mines, bridges, rock out- crops & crevices

Buildings, mines, caves, rock crevices

Western Small-footed Myotis

Occasional

 

Cliffs, rock crevices, mines,

Mines, cliff crevices

Northern Myotis

Rarely

 

Snags

Mines

Long-legged Myotis

Occasional

 

Cliffs, rock crevices, snags, stumps

Mines, caves, rock crevices

Little Brown Myotis

Common

Yes

Snags, rock crevices, cliffs, mines

Mines, caves, rock crevices

Fringed Myotis

Occasional

 

Mines, cliffs, rock crevices, snags

Mines

Long-eared Myotis

Occasional

Yes

Cliffs, snags, stumps, talus slopes, rock outcrops, crevices, mines

Mines, buildings

Canyon Bat1

 

 

Cliffs, rock crevices

Rock crevices, caves?

Mexican Free-tailed Bat1

Common

Yes

Trees, Caves

Migrates?

 

Modified from: Craig,V. J., and S. L. Holroyd. 2004. Bat Conservation Strategy for B.C. and Alberta. Draft. Prepared for B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. 112 pp.Bat roost information from Barclay & Brigham 2001, Fenton et al. 2002, Holloway & Barclay 2001, Nagorsen & Brigham 1993, Rabe et al. 1998, Rambaldini 2003, Rasheed & Holroyd 1995, Sarell & Luoma 1994; Vonhof & Barclay 1997.

*Silver-haired bats are considered ‘migratory hibernators’ which means that local populations may make significant flights further south before hibernating. However, northern populations may move into southern parts of the province to hibernate.

Additional Resources:

An excellent reference book for the bats of BC is: Nagorsen, David W. and R. Mark Brigham. 1995. Bats of British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook, Victoria, BC.

For more information on the bats of BC see: