Northern Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)

Description
Northern Bat

Size

  • Adult body length ranges from 8 to 10 centimetres (3 ¼ to 4 inches).
  • Wingspan ranges from 23 to 26 centimetres (9 to 10 inches).

Appearance

  • Has long ears which extend up to four millimetres (0.16 inches) beyond the end of the nose when laid forward.
Distribution
  • The northern bat (sometimes called the 'northern myotis' or the 'northern long-eared bat') is distributed widely throughout Canada but is seldom seen.
  • In western Canada, range is restricted to the boreal forest areas.
  • Specimens have been collected in Alberta from:
    • Cadomin
    • Edmonton
    • Edson
    • High Level
    • Peace River
    • Spruce Grove
    • Wood Buffalo National Park
Natural History

Habitat

  • During the summer these bats roost in a variety of shelters, including trees, caves, and occasionally buildings.
  • Tall mature trees, alive or dead, are preferred and the bats often use cavities created by birds or crawl under loose bark on the trunk of the tree.
  • Throughout the summer, the bats often change roosts and thus there is a need for many potential roost trees in an area where northern bats occur.
  • Like the small-footed bat, this species is quite tolerant of cold and in winter prefers to roost singly in narrow crevices near the entrance of mines and caves.

Food

  • Northern bats are a gleaning species and prefer to snatch insects directly off the surface of leaves or tree branches. Thus, they tend to be active within the forest canopy layer.
Reproduction and Growth

Breeding Behaviour

  • This bat appears to congregate in small nursery colonies (up to 30 individuals); however, some females and their young roost alone.
  • Each female gives birth to one young each year.
Conservation and Management

Status

The northern bat is classified as Secure in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:

Also see the Status of the northern bat in Alberta report at:

In a subsequent detailed status assessment, Alberta’s Endangered Species Conservation Committee identified the northern bat as Data Deficient—a species for which there is not enough current information to determine its status. See information on the Endangered Species Conservation Committee and Data Deficient species at:

Issues

  • Little is known about its population and current forest practices threaten habitat.
Similar Species

 

Page Information

Updated: May 20, 2014