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.


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


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


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