Bats are fascinating mammals and play an incredibly important role in our surrounding eco-systems. Unfortunately, they have been pushed out of their natural habitats and forced into municipal areas due to land overdevelopment and similar human-motivated factors. As a result, bats are frequently regarded as pests, rodents, and nuisance animals. But the truth is, they are an essential part of our surrounding ecosystem, and they play an integral role in mosquito and insect control in our parks and backyards every night.
Rather than being frightened or turned off by bats, we need to be supportive of their survival; especially since there are many endangered and threatened species.
Local Endangered Bat Species
There are more than 1,200 known bat species around the world, and 30 known species in North America. Out of the 30 known bat species in North America, there are some that are listed as federally-endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In this region that surrounds Indiana, there are 3 federally-endangered bat species that are currently protected by the Endangered Species Acts. These include the Gray bat, the Indiana bat, and the Virginia Big-Eared bat. All three species have interesting and unique attributes, and should be protected and preserved to the best of our abilities.
Gray Bat ⚊ The Gray bat, Myotis grisescens, has been categorized as federally-endangered for over 40 years. When they were added to the endangered species list, there were an estimated 2 million bats left around the world.
Indiana Bat ⚊ The Indiana bat, Myotis sodalis, is very tiny, making them difficult to distinguish from other species. In fact, they look very similar to the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), which can be dangerous since little brown bats are not federally-protected.
Virginia Big-Eared Bat ⚊ The Virginia Big-Eared, Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus, is most distinguishable by its large ears, which can reach lengths of 2.5 centimeters or more. Unfortunately, there are only about 20,000 left. Most remain native to West Virginia, while other populations are found in Kentucky and North Carolina.
Species of Bat in Indiana
There are twelve known species of bat commonly found in the state of Indiana. The 12 species of bat found in Indiana include the Big-Eared bat, Red bat, Southeastern Bat, Hoary Bat, Gray Bat, Evening bat, Northern bat, Silver-Haired bat, Little Brown bat, Big Brown bat, the Pipistrelle bat, and the popular Indiana bat. The Big-Eared Bat has mostly migrated out of Indiana, and is not regularly seen here in the state any more but still spotted in other areas. The same goes for the Southeastern Bat.
Safe and Humane Bat Removal
If you find a bat in the attic, house, yard, or other area of your property, it is strongly recommended to contact a local Indianapolis bat removal and control company for professional assistance. Never attempt to touch, trap, catch, or kill a wild bat. This means it is not a good idea to keep them as a pet either. Although bats are highly advantageous to our surrounding eco-systems by controlling mosquito populations and pollenating forests, they are also dangerous to humans and pets, and should never be handled by an untrained individual under any circumstances.