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Species at Risk Database

Species at Risk Database

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Little Brown Myotis

Myotis lucifugus

Formerly named Little Brown Bat

COSEWIC Status: Endangered

COSSARO Status: Endangered

Credit: S.Dobbyn

Description

  • True to its name, the little brown myotis weighs only 4-8 grams and is approximately 4-5 cm long.
  • The overall colouration is brown and they are slightly buffy- gray underneath.
  • The wings are tinged bluish-gray.

Habits and Reproduction

  • They forage typically over water and their diet consists mainly of aquatic insects such as midges, mosquitoes, mayflies, and caddisflies.
  • Three different roosting sites are used: day roosts, night roost and hibernation roosts.
  • The little brown myotis leaves its roost at dusk and the next two or three hours are peak activity periods. They are also active before dawn.
  • They typically produce only one pup each year. Little brown myotis start breeding after one year and have been recorded to live over 30 years.
  • In summer, the males and females live apart while the females raise the young. When fall comes, both sexes fly south to a hibernaculum, where they mate and then hibernate.

Habitat

  • Little brown myotis use a wide variety of forest habitat and readily makes use of man-made structures.

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 200-400 km/yr. If the spread of WNS continues at the current rate, the entire Canadian population would likely be impacted within 11-22 years.

Conservation Actions

For more information about the Little Brown Myotis in the Georgian Bay area, contact:

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
SAR Biologist
7 Bay Street
Parry Sound, Ontario
P2A 1S4
Phone: 705-746-4201

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