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 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.

Common Name

Scientific Name

Provincial Status

Region of BC

 

 

 

Vancouver Island

Lower Mainland

Thompson

Kootenay

Caribou

Skeena

Omineca

Okanagan

Peace

Big Brown Bat

Eptesicus fuscus

 

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Silver-haired Bat

Lasionycteris noctivagans

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Hoary Bat

Lasiurus cinereus

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

?

x

x

x

California Myotis

Myotis californicus

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

x

 

Long-eared Myotis

Myotis evotis

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Little Brown Myotis

Myotis lucifugus

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Long-legged Myotis

Myotis volans

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Yuma Myotis

Myotis yumanensis

Not at risk

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

x

 

Western Small-footed Myotis

Myotis ciliolabrum

Blue

 

 

x

 

x

 

 

x

 

Fringed Myotis

Myotis thysanodes

Not at risk

 

 

x

x

x

 

 

x

 

Keen’s Myotis

Myotis keenii

Red

x

x

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

Northern Myotis

Myotis septentrionalis

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

x

 

x

Western Red Bat

Lasiurus blossevillii

Red

 

?

?

 

 

 

 

?

 

Townsend’s Big-eared Bat

Corynorhinus townsendii

Blue

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

x

 

Pallid Bat

Antrozous pallidus

Red

 

 

?

 

?

 

 

x

 

Spotted Bat

Euderma maculatum

Blue

 

 

x

 

x

 

 

x

 

Total
(Possible Total?)

 16

 

10

10 (11?)

12 (14?)

9 (12?)

13 (14?)

9 (10?)

7

13 (14?)

6

The Pallid Bat (Threatened) and Spotted Bat (Threatened) have been listed under the federal Species at Risk Act. Little Brown Myotis and Northern Myotis has been recommended for listing as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

Keen's Myotis. Photo by Karen Ferguson
Keen's Myotis. Photo by Karen Ferguson

Known roosting preferences of the bats of British Columbia (BC) in summer and winter (modified from Craig and Holroyd 2004). Some roost information is from research conducted outside BC Row colour signifies the species’ status in BC (Red= red-listed, Blue=blue-listed, white=not at risk).

Common Name (Scientific Name)

Summer Roosts1

Winter Roosts1

 

Buildings

Bat House User

Other Roosts

 

Little Brown Myotis

Myotis lucifugus

Dead/dying trees, rock crevices, cliffs, mines

Mines, caves

Yuma Myotis

Myotis yumanensis

Common

Yes

Dead/dying trees, rock crevices, mines

Long-legged Myotis

Myotis volans

Occasional

 

Cliffs, rock crevices, dead/dying trees, stumps

Mines, caves

Western small-footed Myotis

Myotis ciliolabrum

Occasional

 

Cliffs, rock crevices, mines,

Mines, cliff crevices

California Myotis

Myotis californicus

Occasional

Yes

Dead/dying trees, mines, bridges, rock outcrops & crevices

Buildings, mines, caves

Fringed Myotis

Myotis thysanodes

Occasional

 

Mines cliffs, rock crevices, dead/dying trees

Mines

Long-eared Myotis

Myotis evotis

Occasional

Yes

Cliffs, dead/dying trees, stumps, talus slopes, rock outcrops, crevices, mines

Mines, buildings

Keen’s Myotis

Myotis keenii

 

Mines, cliffs, dead/dying trees, rock crevices

Dead/dying trees, rock crevices?

Northern Myotis

Myotis septentrionalis

Rarely

 

Dead/dying trees

Mines

Townsend’s Big-eared Bat2

Corynorhinus townsendii

Common

Yes but big ones!

Cliffs, caves, buildings, mines

Mines, caves

Western Red Bat

Lasiurus blossevillii

 

 

Trees

Migrates?

Hoary Bat

Lasiurus cinereus

 

 

Dead/dying trees, trees

Migrates

Silver-haired Bat3

Lasionycteris noctivagans

 

 

Trees, dead/dying trees (cottonwoods)

Big Brown Bat

Eptesicus fuscus

Common

Yes

Dead/dying trees, cliffs, rock crevices

Buildings, mines, rock crevices?

Pallid Bat

Antrozous pallidus

 Potentially

 

 

Cliffs, rock outcrops, Dead/dying trees, buildings, mines, orchard

Rock crevices?

Spotted Bat

Euderma maculatum

 

Cliffs

Cliffs, mines

Total species

 

 

 

 

1 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.
2until recently, this species was recognized as Plecotus townsendii
3Silver-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.

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: