Northern Long-eared Bat

Species Name: Myotis septentrionalis

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Species Distribution in Massachusetts

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Federal Rank: Threatened

Massachusetts State Rank: Endangered

Habitat Description

Northern Long-eared Bats are fairly widespread throughout Massachusetts, roosting and foraging in forested areas. They roost in stands of tall trees and hibernate in humid natural caves or abandoned mines. The Northern Long-eared Bat has been observed in eleven Massachusetts counties.

Threats to Survival

Northern Long-eared Bats are one of the bat species most impacted by white nose syndrome, killing 90-100% of Northern Long-eared Bats in a population. A fungus grows over the bats as they hibernate, causing them to wake often and lose stored fat. The syndrome may have been accidentally introduced from western Europe, and is believed to spread between populations due to the movements of breeding males or possibly of humans.

Actions Recommended to Ensure Survival

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is working with the government and nonprofit groups to understand the spread of the fungus and discover ways to prevent it. Access to undisturbed hibernating areas is also vital to the survival of Northern Long-eared Bats, and known habitats should be protected from human disturbance through the use of gated entrances.