Northern Myotis

Northern Myotis- Photo credit S. Dobbyn

Myotis septentrionalis

Note – Formerly called Northern Long-eared Bat

Status:

  • COSEWIC – Endangered
  • COSSARO – Endangered

Description:

  • As its former name implies, their long ears make up 1/5 of their total body length. This bat is typically 8 cm in length and weighs 5-10 g.
  • Their fur is dull brown.

Habits:

  • They emerge just after the sun sets in order to hunt their prey along forest edges, over forest clearings, at tree-top level, and occasionally over ponds. They also hunt again before dawn.  Their preferred prey include caddisflies, beetles, moths, leafhoppers, and flies.
  • As early as September, Northern Myotis migrate to caves to hibernate and emerge as late as May depending on their location.

Reproduction:

  • Females give birth to one pup each summer and often form large maternity colonies (30-60 individuals) consisting mainly of females and their young. They usually choose hollow trees as maternal sites.

Habitat:

  • Northern Myotis are typically associated with wooded areas.

Threats:

  • White-nose Syndrome (WNS) has led to catastrophic declines of bat populations in north-eastern North America.  WNS is caused by a fungus that likely originated in Europe. It grows in humid, cold environments, typical of caves where bats hibernate.
  • It was first identified in a cave near Albany, New York in 2006.  By 2010, WNS was confirmed in Ontario. The mortality rates at infected hibernation sites in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick are over 80%.
  • WNS is expanding in Canada at average rate range of 200-400km/yr. If the spread of WNS continues at the current rate, the entire Canadian population would likely be impacted within 11-22 years.

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Conservation Actions:

  • Please report any unusual bat activity such as flying outside in daytime or deaths to the Ministry of Natural Resources at 800-667-1940.
  • You can help reduce the spread. Do not enter non-commercial caves and abandoned mines where bats may be present.