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Northern Long-Eared Myotis

The Northern Long-eared Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) is a species of small bats endemic to North America. This species plays an important role in the environment by providing many beneficial services, such as controlling insect populations and pollinating agricultural crops.

Unfortunately, it has been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act due to population declines caused primarily by habitat loss and degradation from human activities. As a result, conservation efforts are necessary for this species’ survival into the future.

This article will discuss the current status of Northern Long-eared Myotis and explore potential strategies for conserving this species going forward.

This bat species can be found throughout much of Canada and parts of the United States, including Alaska and several northern states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. It prefers forested habitats with mature trees that provide roost sites during daytime hours.

The preferred diet consists mainly of moths although other insects may also be consumed depending on availability in their region. Northern Long-eared Myotis typically hibernate underground or inside hollow tree cavities during winter months but some individuals may remain active year-round if temperatures allow.

Northern Long-eared Myotis have experienced significant population declines over recent decades due to various threats posed by humans; these include destruction or disturbance of roosting sites as well as increasing levels of pesticide use which directly affects their food sources.

In addition, White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease affecting many bat species across North America has had devastating impacts on Northern Long-eared Myotis populations in certain areas where it has been documented. These factors have contributed to its listing as ‘Threatened’ under the U.S Endangered Species Act in 2015 which led to increased attention towards this species’ conservation needs both nationally and globally.

Species Overview

The northern long-eared myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) is a threatened species belonging to the mammal family Vespertilionidae. It is one of three small-footed bat species, along with the Indiana Myotis and the Gray Myotis. This species can be found in parts of Canada, United States and Mexico where it roosts in tree cavities or on ledges.

Morphologically, this bat has a relatively large ears which are 4–7 mm longer than its head; however they may appear even longer due to their furred base. Northern Long-Eared Myotis has grayish brown coloration over its dorsal side while the ventral side appears lighter. The tail membrane joins at the ankle but does not extend beyond it as seen in other members of its family.

This small insectivorous bat typically forages close to water bodies during summer months where it preys upon moths and beetles among other insects. In winter months, these bats hibernate in caves where temperatures are more stable and food resources are scarce. As an indicator species, conservation efforts have been made by various organizations throughout North America to protect this vital component of many ecosystems from human disturbance and environmental degradation.

Distribution And Habitat

The northern long-eared myotis, a species of small bat native to North America, is distributed across the continent in both its summer and winter ranges. Its northern range extends from southern Canada through parts of the United States and into Mexico.

In terms of roosting sites, it prefers wooded areas with tall trees such as coniferous forests or deciduous stands in which they can find suitable crevices for daytime hibernation during colder months. The myotis also favors open forest habitats that provide plenty of flying space for foraging activities throughout the night; this includes meadows, agricultural fields, wetlands and other soft-bottomed ecosystems dominated by herbaceous vegetation.

During summer months, when temperatures are more moderate, individuals may travel further south within their distributional boundaries away from cooler climates where food resources tend to be more abundant. Given these conditions, it becomes clear how important access to diverse landscapes is to this species’ survival and wellbeing.

In addition to an adequate supply of prey items such as insects found near moist environments like ponds and streams, protection from predators and disturbance is key for providing them safe haven while they rest during daylight hours until sunset returns.

Without proper habitat availability on local levels due to human interference or climate change induced events like drought or wildfires, upholding viable populations could become compromised over time if conservation initiatives are not taken seriously now.

Physical Characteristics

The northern long-eared myotis is a species of small bat found in North America. Its body size ranges from 2.7 to 4 centimeters with an average weight of about four grams. Its fur coloration varies between dark brown and black, often having lighter tones on the underside or near its wings.

It has relatively large ears that are 7 to 10 millimeters in length, which are connected by a darker colored membrane. The face shape of this species is considered ‘dog-like’. In addition, they have short but wide wings compared to other bats, making them more adept at slow flight than fast maneuvering ability.

In terms of physical characteristics, northern long-eared myotises possess soft fur coats and extremely sensitive echolocation abilities due to their long ears and big eyes. They also have unique wing shapes for their flying style which makes them capable of catching prey in narrow places where some other species struggle to reach. This adaptation helps the species feed on insects living in crevices that may not be available to other bats or birds.

Overall, the physical characteristics of northern long-eared myotises make it well adapted for survival in its habitat range across North America. Their combination of fur coloration, ear length, face shape and wing structure allow for optimal performance during hunting activities as well as providing effective protection against predators when roosting during daylight hours.

Diet And Feeding Behavior

The Northern Long-eared Myotis is a nocturnal creature that loves to snack all night long. Its diet mostly consists of insects, but it will sometimes enjoy the occasional tasty mouse or bat as well. But don’t let its size fool you – this species may be small in stature but they can pack away quite a few prey items!

This species has been found to exhibit diel patterns for foraging and captures more prey during the peak hours of activity around dusk and dawn than at other times of day. When hunting, these bats use various echolocation techniques in order to detect their prey before swooping down on them with incredible speed and accuracy.

In addition to their dietary habits, studies have also shown interesting mating behaviors when it comes to the Northern Long-eared Myotis. Male bats are known to compete for females by displaying aggressive behavior such as chasing one another or even physical contact between individuals. Although rare, fights between males have been observed while they search for potential mates in roosts.

Overall, the Northern Long-eared Myotis utilizes complex strategies when hunting and seeking out mates. Their ability to quickly adjust to changing environmental conditions allows them to maintain healthy populations despite facing numerous threats from human activities like habitat destruction and climate change.

The conservation status of this species is currently considered “Least Concern” by IUCN which demonstrates our success so far in protecting these fascinating creatures!


The northern long-eared myotis has a typical mating season for its species which begins in the autumn months and continues through winter. During this time, males become quite vocal and search out females to mate with.

Breeding behavior is fairly common amongst these bats; however, mothering habits vary from one female to another. The birth process of the northern long-eared myotis usually occurs during the late spring or early summer after a gestation period of approximately 45 days. Most mothers gather together in maternity colonies that are protected by tree cavities or other structures before giving birth.

The newborns will remain within their maternal colony until they become independent enough to venture off on their own. At this stage, they typically disperse into small groups throughout their local habitat.

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the northern long-eared myotis hangs in the balance, with its future uncertain. The species is listed as endangered due to population declines and threats from habitat loss:

  • Habitat fragmentation and destruction resulting from human activities such as urbanization, agriculture, timber extraction, and development have reduced suitable roosting sites for this bat species;
  • Pesticides used in agricultural areas can also reduce insect populations on which these bats feed;
  • White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has been linked to mortality rates of up to 99% among certain North American bat species, has caused considerable losses in the northern long-eared myotis population; and
  • Climate change may cause further reductions in insect food sources or increase competition with other bat species.

Given their importance in maintaining biological diversity through pollination and pest control services, protecting these small mammals is critical. Conservationists must take steps to protect existing habitats from degradation by providing buffer zones around sensitive ecosystems.

They should also implement measures to support healthy invertebrate populations so that these bats have adequate food sources throughout the year. Additionally, research into WNS needs to continue so effective strategies for preventing transmission can be developed. Ultimately, there is hope that if such efforts are undertaken effectively then it will not be too late to save this beloved creature from extinction.

Human Interaction

The northern long-eared myotis is a species of vesper bat native to North America. Human interaction has had an impact on this species, primarily through habitat destruction and degradation due to human activity such as urbanization and deforestation. As a result, the conservation status of this species is of concern in many areas across its range.

Human activities that have a negative effect on the northern long-eared myotis include the conversion of forests into agricultural land, wetland drainage, pollution from industrial sources, and other forms of disturbance associated with human development. These activities can lead to habitat loss or fragmentation for the species resulting in reduced availability of suitable roosting sites and foraging grounds.

ActivityImpactConservation Efforts
Habitat DestructionNegativeProtection & Restoration
UrbanizationNegativeSpecies Monitoring

In order to protect and restore populations of the northern long-eared myotis, various conservation efforts are being implemented including protection and restoration of habitats, monitoring of population trends and levels, education about threats posed by human activities, and recovery programs aimed at restoring degraded populations.


The northern long-eared myotis is a unique species that has evolved and adapted to its environment over time. Though they are spread out across a large area, the population of this species continues to decline due to loss of habitat, climate change, and other human activities. As conservationists, we must take action now in order to protect these animals before it’s too late.

Efforts need to be taken in order to maintain healthy habitats for these mammals; such as restoring areas where their roosting structures have been destroyed or creating new suitable roosts around the landscape. In addition, more research should be conducted on how different environmental factors can affect their populations so that proper management strategies can be implemented.

Though there may seem like an insurmountable task ahead of us with regards to protecting the northern long-eared myotis, it is not impossible. It will require dedication from all stakeholders involved but if done correctly then this species could be saved from extinction and preserved for future generations like a beacon of hope among an otherwise bleak situation.