Chicago Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Chicago Field Office

230 South Dearborn St.,

Suite 2938

Chicago, Illinois 60604
Phone: 312-216-4720

FAX: 312-216-1788
TTY: 1-800-877-8339
(Federal Relay)


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Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis)

Image: Indiana Bat Species Spotlight, with wintering colony of Indiana bats


Listed as endangered in 1967.



This species occurs over a broad geographic range covering portions of 27 states in the eastern United States.  Loss of summer roosting and maternity habitats and destruction or disturbance of caves and other places where Indiana bats spend winter are believed to have caused large historical declines in numbers.  This species was listed as endangered in 1967.


A large wintering population of this species is located in LaSalle County, Illinois, just southwest of the Chicago metropolitan area.  Also, non-breeding Indiana bats have been found in northeast Illinois, and known maternity colonies have been located in adjacent northeast Indiana and east-central Illinois. 


Historical Records for this Species in Northeast Illinois are available from Cook County, but this flying mammal could potentially occur anywhere that suitable maternity habitat exists in northeast Illinois.  Suitable maternity habitat is generally described as trees (live or dead) where bats roost beneath exfoliating bark, and within cavities in dead trees. Indiana bat roost trees are located in both upland and floodplain forests, typically within 500 meters of a perennial or intermittent stream.


Recent evidence has shown that this species can live in urbanized areas.  The Indiana bat was last confirmed near Chicago in the 1920's. Suitable habitat currently exists in this region, and the species is known to occur in forested areas along the Kankakee River and other locations in nearby Indiana.  Few surveys for this species have been conducted in our area.   


Locally, we work with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and several agency partners to consider measures to conserve remaining populations of this species should it be found in northeast Illinois, and we consult with species experts on issues related to managing or recovering this species.  We also assist the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in semi-annual surveys of the known wintering populations in LaSalle County, Illinois.  




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Last updated: February 22, 2018