Little Brown Bat

Little Brown Bat

North Dakota Species of Conservation Priority I
Fact Sheet
Genus species Myotis lucifugus
General Description As the name implies the fur of the Little Brown Bat is shade of brown with the top being darker then the underside. They also have a darker spot in the area of the shoulder. The wings and uropatigium are absent of hair.
Status Seasonal as no known hibernacula have been identified.
Abundance Common.
Primary Habitat Roosts are established in structures in the summer months but also can be found in dead trees.
Federal Status No current federal status.
Reason for Designation Although common in North Dakota species is threatened by a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome in the eastern and Midwest portions of its range.

Locations and Conditions of Key Habitat

Preferred Habitat

Little Brown Bats are generally associated with buildings which they use as roosts. Roosts are generally near feeding areas where they can access flying insects for food. Hibernacula are generally caves, mines and rock crevices in which the temperature does not fall below freezing and has high humidity. No hibernacula have been identified in the state.

Key Areas and Conditions for Little Brown Bat in North Dakota

Little Brown Bats are found throughout the state.

Problems Which May Affect this Species

Habitat

Loss and disturbance of roost habitat is a threat to this species.

Other Natural or Manmade Factors

White-nose Syndrome is a significant threat to this species. North Dakota bat species are insectivores. The use of pesticides in the vicinity of a feeding ground would affect bat populations by killing prey. Also, bat species are known to store pesticides within fat reserves. Wind turbines have been identified as a source of mortality to bats and several turbine “farms” are under construction in parts of North Dakota. Indiscriminate killing due to a negative public perception has been identified as a possible threat to this species.

Research and Survey Efforts

Current Research or Surveys

  • North Dakota State University is currently trying to identify potential roosting and hibernacula habitat in western North Dakota.
  • North Dakota State University is currently developing a Bat Management/White-nose Syndrome Response plan.

Previous Research or Surveys

  • A survey of bat species in the state was conducted by North Dakota State University.
  • Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is in the process of identifying previous work for mammals of southwestern North Dakota.
  • A number of agencies have surveyed small mammals in the southwestern part of the state, including REAP, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
  • Reduce use of pesticides near waterways where bats forage.

Additional Research or Surveys Needed

Research to assess primary threats to this species.

Management Recommendations

  • Protection and restoration of riparian habitat.
  • Manage riparian habitats to maintain snags, connecting corridors, and edges.
  • Maintain and improve seeps, ponds, and other wet areas as water sources.
  • Education on the benefits and misconceptions about bats.
  • Determine and protect nursery and hibernation sites.
  • Provide roosting sites in areas where natural sites have been destroyed or disturbed.

Monitoring Plans

A monitoring protocol will be addressed in the North Dakota Bat Management Plan currently under development.

2005-2015 Progress

The Little Brown Bat was added to the Species of Conservation Priority list during the revision of the Wildlife Action Plan in 2015. Although currently secure in North Dakota, White-nose Syndrome threatens this species in much of its eastern range.

Range Map

Note: A listing of works consulted when compiling the information on this page may be found in the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan.