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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Nongame & Endangered Wildlife > Bats In Indiana Bats In Indiana

Bats are fascinating creatures. They are the only mammal capable of true flight, and they use sonar (echolocation) to navigate through their environment and capture prey. All bats that occur in Indiana are insectivores, meaning they eat insects. A bat feeding on beetles, mosquitoes and moths can eat half of its body weight each night, an attribute that makes them extremely beneficial to humans. Many insects eaten by bats are harmful agricultural and forest pests. It is estimated that the economic impact to the agricultural industry due to the loss of insect-eating bats in North America could exceed $3.7 billion per year.

Thirteen bat species have been documented in Indiana. Six species primarily use underground sites such as caves, mines, or tunnels to hibernate in winter. They use caves, trees and/or other structures for summer roosts. Four species are found in Indiana either during the summer reproductive season or spring and fall migration. The remaining three species are exceedingly rare in Indiana; the few records for these species are from caves during winter hibernation.

CAVE BATS


Common Name

Conservation Status
in Indiana

Primary Summer
Roost Sites

Primary Winter
Roost Sites

Big brown bat

None

Trees/Structures

Caves/Mines/Structures

Gray bat

State Endangered

Caves/Mines

Caves/Mines

Indiana bat

State Endangered

Trees

Caves/Mines

Little brown bat

Special concern

Trees/Structures

Caves/Mines

Northern long-eared bat

Special concern

Trees

Caves/Mines

Tri-colored bat (pipistrelle)

Special Concern

Trees

Caves/Mines

MIGRATORY TREE BATS


Common Name

Conservation Status
In Indiana

Found in Trees During

Eastern red bat

Special Concern

Summer

Evening bat

State Endangered

Summer

Hoary bat

Special Concern

Summer

Silver-haired bat

Special Concern

Spring/Fall migration

RARE BATS


Common Name

Conservation Status
In Indiana

History

Eastern small-footed bat

Special Concern

First recorded in 2009

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat

Special Concern

Last recorded in 1962

Southeastern bat

Special Concern

Last recorded in 1977