Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis) [endangered]
The Indiana bat was federally listed in 1967 and classified as an endangered species in 1973.
The Indiana bat is a small, brown mammal about 1.5 to 2 inches long. This species closely resembles the little brown bat, from which it can be distinguished by small differences in fur coloration and the structure of the feet. As with all eastern U.S. bat species, Indiana bats feed almost exclusively on insects.
Each fall from late August through October, Indiana bats migrate from their summer habitats to congregate in the vicinity of their hibernation sites, which include caves and abandoned mine shafts. During this time, the bats engage in mating activity and feed in the surrounding area to build the fat reserves needed during hibernation. The bats then hibernate from late October to April, the precise timing dependent on climatic conditions. After emerging from hibernation, Indiana bats forage in the vicinity of the hibernation site before migrating to summer habitats. Studies indicate that Indiana bats typically forage within 10 miles of hibernacula before and after hibernation.
When not hibernating, Indiana bats roost under loose tree bark by day, and forage for flying insects in and around the tree canopy at night. A variety of upland and wetland habitats are used as foraging areas, including flood plain, riparian (along rivers), and upland forests; pastures; clearings with early successional vegetation; cropland borders; and wooded fencerows. Preferred foraging areas are streams, associated flood plain forests, and impounded bodies of water such as ponds and reservoirs.
During the summer months, numerous female bats roost together in maternity colonies under the loose bark of dead or dying trees within riparian, flood plain, and upland forests. Maternity colonies use multiple roosts in both living and dead trees. Female Indiana bats raise a single offspring each year. Adult males usually roost in trees near maternity roosts, but some males remain near the hibernaculum and have been found in caves and mines during the summer.
Protection of Indiana bats during all phases of their annual life cycle is essential to preserving this species. Threats to the Indiana bat include disturbance or killing of hibernating and maternity colonies; vandalism and improper closure of hibernacula; fragmentation, degradation, and destruction of forested summer habitats; and use of pesticides and other environmental contaminants. In recent years, White Nose Syndrome has also emerged as a major threat to the Indiana bat and many other bat species.
Species Range: Indiana bats occur in the forests and caves of the Northeast and Southeast but primarily in the Midwest.
Distribution in New Jersey: The Indiana bat is known to occur in Sussex, Passaic, Morris, Union, Essex, Somerset, and Hunterdon Counties. The species' geographic range (where bats may occur) also includes Warren and parts of Bergen, Middlesex, and Mercer Counties. See Bat Municiaplity List [PDF].
The following is provided as technical assistance only and is not intended as a comprehensive list of all activities that may affect this species.Within or above any cave or mine:
Within areas of known fall swarming habitat (0.25 mile around hibernacula entranceways) or known fall foraging habitat (10 miles around hibernacula):
Within areas of known summer maternity habitat:
Within areas of potential summer habitat (within the geographic range but in areas not yet surveyed for the presence or absence of this species):
The following Best Management Practices are examples of typical Conservation Measures frequently recommended by the New Jersey Field Office in the course of consultation or technical assistance.
Please note the following REQUIRED information when requesting consultation or technical assistance from the Service: For projects in municipalities with known or potential occurrence of the Indiana bat, please indicate whether or not tree clearing is proposed. If so, describe the species, size (diameter at breast height), and number (or acres) of trees proposed for removal, and indicate whether clearing of tress >5 inches in diameter at breast height will be seasonally restricted (from April 1 to November 15 in municipalities with Hibernation occurrence; from April 1 to September 30 in municipalities with Maternity or Potential occurrence).