Midwest Region Endangered Species Conserving the nature of America

Endangered Species Program


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems.




U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service in the Midwest


The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you.


The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Find a location near you »


Hibernating Indiana bats


Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis)

White-nose Syndrome |Population | Life History and ESA Status | Management | Recovery

Section 7 Consultation | Summer Survey Guidance | Images | For Teachers


A tight cluster of Indiana bats hibernating on a cave ceiling.
Indiana bats hibernate in tight clusters on the ceilings and sides of caves and mines.

Photo by Andrew King/USFWS


Status: Endangered, first listed March 11, 1967


Habitat: Summer habitat includes small to medium river and stream corridors with well developed riparian woods; woodlots within 1 to 3 miles of small to medium rivers and streams; and upland forests. Caves and mines as hibernacula.


Range: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Lead Region: 3


Region 3 Lead Office:

Bloomington, Indiana Field Office



Frequently Requested!


Summer Survey Guidelines


Indiana Bat Range Map and Recovery Units


Bat Box Fact Sheet

Minnesota | Indiana | Wisconsin


Indiana Bats, Kids, and Caves - Oh My! (an activity book for teachers)


Indiana Bat images on Flickr


Indiana Bat Section 7 and Section 10 Wind Energy Guidance


The Indiana bat was listed as endangered in 1967 due to episodes of people disturbing hibernating bats in caves during winter, resulting in the death of large numbers of bats. Indiana bats are vulnerable to disturbance because they hibernate in large numbers in only a few caves (the largest hibernation caves support from 20,000 to 50,000 bats). Other threats that have contributed to the Indiana bat's decline include commercialization of caves, loss of summer habitat, pesticides and other contaminants, and most recently, the disease white-nose syndrome.


Indiana bats are quite small, weighing only one-quarter of an ounce (about the weight of three pennies) although in flight they have a wingspan of 9 to 11 inches. Their fur is dark-brown to black. They hibernate during winter in caves or, occasionally, in abandoned mines. During summer they roost under the peeling bark of dead and dying trees. Indiana bats eat a variety of flying insects found along rivers or lakes and in uplands.


Article If You Build It, They Will Come: A Field of Dreams for Endangered Bats



White-nose Syndrome

White nose syndrome (WNS) is an illness that has killed over a million bats since 2006 when dead and dying bats, with the distinctive "white nose," were first observed. "White nose" refers to a ring of white fungus often seen on the faces and wings of affected bats. First observed in a cave in New York in February 2006, white-nose syndrome has spread from New York caves to caves and mines throughout the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest It is spreading to the West and Southwest - and has been documented in the state of Washington.


White-nose Syndrome Response Team


Video: The Battle for Bats: White Nose Syndrome


Decontamination Protocol for Bat Field Studies

Use the most current version of the Protocol provided on the website. These protocols apply to anyone handling bats and working under a Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit (i.e., Federal Research Permit). The purpose of the protocols are to minimize the potential for transmission of white-nose syndrome while handling bats; both between handler and bats and between bats. 


White-Nose Syndrome and Bats Photo Gallery



2019 Indiana Bat Rangewide Population Adobe PDF Icon - Revised June 27, 2019




Helping bats survive white-nose syndrome includes helping them survive overall. The White-Nose Syndrome website provides information that can help you help bats when carrying out various management activities.


Management Practices to Help Bats Survive - links to White-Nose Sydrome Response Team



Life History and ESA Status

Indiana Bat Range Map and Recovery Units


Shapefile of Recovery Units (.zip file)


Fact Sheet


Fact Sheet - Northeastern U.S. (PDF)


Michigan Summer Life History Information


Species Profile (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Endangered Species Website)



Biologist taking a digital photo of bats hibernating on a cave ceiling.

Biologists conduct modern bat surveys by taking digital photos of large bat clusters. Back in the office, they count bat noses in the photos to estimate the total cave population.

Photo by USFWS; Andrew King

Recovery Activities

Recovery is the process used to restore threatened and endangered species to the point that protection under the Endangered Species Act is no longer needed. The Endangered Species Act requires that a "Recovery Plan" be prepared for every listed species and that the status of every listed species is reviewed every five years (i.e., "Five-Year Reviews").

Beneficial Forest Management Practices for WNS-affected Bats Voluntary Guidance for Land Managers and Woodland Owners in the Eastern United States Adobe PDF Icon


Draft Recovery Plan; First Revision (258-page PDF Adobe PDF Icon; 1.4MB) - April 2007


Hopes For Indiana Bat Rise and Fall at Indiana's Cave River Valley (Dec. 2012)


Five-Year Review (91-page PDF Adobe PDF Icon) Sept. 2019



Section 7 Consultation

Under Section 7, the Endangered Species Act directs all Federal agencies to work to conserve endangered and threatened species and to use their authorities to further the purposes of the Act. Section 7 of the Act, called "Interagency Cooperation," is the mechanism by which Federal agencies ensure the actions they take, including those they fund or authorize, do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species.


Section 7 Consultation with Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration


Section 7 and Section 10 Wind Energy Guidance


Indiana Bat Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities


Summer Survey Guidelines


Automated Acoustic Bat ID Software Programs


Indiana Bat Biological Opinions


Section 7 Consultation Guidance


Indiana bats on a cave wall.

In the background, Indiana bats are drinking from water that has condensed on the cave wall.

Photo by USFWS; Andrew King


Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs)

Habitat Conservation Plans in the Midwest Region



Indiana Bat Photos on Flickr



For Teachers

Indiana Bats, Kids, and Caves - Oh My! (an activity book for teachers)


Celebrate Endangered Species Day, Learn about the Endangered Indiana Bat


Photos on Flickr


Photos of bats with white-nose syndrome on Flickr



Bat Box Fact Sheet (PDF)

Minnesota | Indiana | Wisconsin



Mammal Home

USFWS Midwest Endangered Species Home