Western Small-footed Bat (Myotis ciliolabrum)

Description
Western Small-footed Bat

Size

  • Total body length ranges from 7.6 to 8.9 centimetres (3 to 3 ¼ inches).
  • Wingspan is 21 to 25 centimetres (8 ¼ to 9 ¼ inches).

Appearance

  • The western small-footed bat (sometimes called the 'western small-footed myotis') is easily confused with other Myotis species and can be identified reliably only after extensive experience.
Distribution
  • Is relatively common throughout the western United States and the arid regions of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.
  • Specimens of this species have been collected sporadically in southern Alberta, particularly from Dinosaur Provincial Park.
  • Collections made in Dinosaur Park suggest some western small-footed bats bear young in the park and may hibernate there.
  • This species may be widespread in the badlands and arid river valleys in the Milk River area.
  • Some western small-footed bats are known to hibernate in south-central Montana.
Natural History

Habitat

  • The western small-footed bat is a hardy species. In the western United States, it is the last species to enter hibernacula but the first to leave.
  • Individuals hibernate in narrow crevices near the mouth of caves. Here the temperature often dips below freezing yet the small bats appear to be well adapted to the cold and dryness.
Reproduction and Growth

Breeding Behaviour

  • Nursery colonies have been found in caves and crevices in rock faces and clay banks.
Conservation and Management

Status

The western small-footed bat is classified as Sensitive in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:

Also see the Status of the western small-footed bat in Alberta report at:

In a subsequent detailed status assessment, Alberta's Endangered Species Conservation Committee identified the western small-footed bat as a Species of Special Concern—a species that without human intervention may soon become threatened with extinction. See information on the Endangered Species Conservation Committee and Species of Special Concern at:

The western small-footed bat is a focal species of the MULTISAR (multiple species at risk) program, a program of integrated species management over broad landscapes in southern Alberta. See:

Issues

  • In Alberta, the western small-footed bat exists in clumped, disjointed populations about which little is known.

 

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Updated: May 12, 2010