STATUS: Native, “Vulnerable,” Listed under Endangered Species Act
DESCRIPTION: They have dark gray fur on their backs that may bleach to a russet or chestnut brown after July or August. Unlike in other species of Myotis, where the wing membrane connects to the toe, their wing membrane connects to the ankle. They weigh between 7 and 16 grams.
DIET: Gray bats forage over slow-moving or stationary water where they consume night-flying insects most of which have aquatic larval stages. They eat beetles, flies, moths, and other insects.
HABITAT: Gray bats live in limestone karst areas where caves are abundant. They are found in the Southeastern U.S., stretching up to the Great Lakes Region.
NOTES: Due to human disturbance, this bat species has seen a dramatic decline. 95% of gray bats now only roost in 9 caves. They can live up to 17 years, but only half of these bats reach sexual maturity at 2 years old. They can fly at 12 miles per hour.
Photo Credit: Nessie Grace