U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Description - The gray bat occurs in and females hibernate together in the Contact one of the following
the southeastern and midwest United winter in caves that are large and agencies for assistance:
States. It is found in the western part cold, and contain complex caverns.
of Virginia. This short-eared, Almost all gray bats hibernate in five Virginia Department of Game and
medium-sized bat may reach a length caves in the southeastern U.S. The Inland Fisheries
of 3.5 inches. Its fur is short and gray bat forages over water and P.O. Box 11104
reddish-brown with white forested areas. Their diet consists of Richmond, Virginia 23230
underparts. aquatic insects, especially mayflies. (804) 367-1000
Life History - The gray bat is found Conservation - The gray bat was Virginia Department of
in Virginia during the summer and federally listed as an endangered Conservation and Recreation
migrates south for the winter. This species on April 28, 1976. These Division of Natural Heritage
species lives in caves year-round, but bats have declined primarily due to 217 Governor Street, 3rd Floor
during the summer uses multiple human disturbance. This species is Richmond, Virginia 23219
caves. In summer, the gray bat uses easily disturbed by human activity (804) 786-7951
caves that are warm and have including vandalism,
flowing water or are close to rivers commercialization of caves, and U.S. Fish and W ildlife Service
or reservoirs. Mating occurs in the frequent visitation. Simply shining a Virginia Field Office
fall, and one young per female is light on a cluster of young bats can 6669 Short Lane
born in late May or early June. cause them to drop from the ceiling Gloucester, Virginia 23061
Young can fly by early to mid-July. to their death. Other threats include (804) 693-6694
Females are very specific in selecting impoundments, deforestation,
the caves in which they give birth pesticide poisoning, and other References
and raise their young. All maternity contaminants.
caves contain a stream, therefore Dalton, V.M. and C.O. Handley, Jr.
fewer than five percent of all caves W hat You Can Do To Help - Avoid 1991. Gray myotis. Pages 567-569
are suitable for use by pregnant using pesticides and other chemicals in K. Terwilliger, ed. Virginia’s
females. Females migrate in early near caves and waterways. Do not Endangered Spcies, Proceedings of a
September, while males and enter gated caves or mines. These Symposium. McDonald and
juveniles migrate in mid-October. gates have been installed to protect W oodward Publishing Company,
Some individuals migrate up to 300 bats and human safety. Cave habitats Blacksburg, Virginia.
miles to their winter cave. Males are fragile and easily disturbed; if you
must enter a cave, do so only as an U.S. Fish and W ildlife Service.
observer and leave everything as you 1980. Selected vertebrate
found it. Never shoot, poison, or endangered species of the seacoast
otherwise harm bats. Bats are of the United States-the gray bat.
extremely beneficial insect eaters, Biological Services Program,
and nuisance bats can be encouraged FW S/OBS-80/01.42.
to move elsewhere. If you find a bat,
please do not disturb it! U.S. Fish and W ildlife Service.
U.S. Fish and W ildlife Service 1982. Gray bat recovery plan.
Virginia Field Office Atlanta, Georgia.
6669 Short Lane
Gloucester, Virginia 23061