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Northern Myotis

Credit S. Dobbyn

Myotis septentrionalis

Formerly called Northern Long-eared bat.

Species at Risk Status

Federal Government status: Endangered

Provincial Government status: Endangered


  • As its former name implies, their long ears make up 1/5 of their total body length. This bat is typically 8 cm in length and weighs 5-10 g.
  • Their fur is dull brown.

Habits and Reproduction

  • They emerge just after the sun sets in order to hunt their prey along forest edges, over forest clearings, at treetop level, and occasionally over ponds. They also hunt again before dawn. Their preferred prey include caddisflies, beetles, moths, leafhoppers, and flies.
  • As early as September, northern myotis migrate to caves to hibernate and emerge as late as May depending on their location.
  • Females give birth to one pup each summer and often form large maternity colonies (30-60 individuals) consisting mainly of females and their young. They usually choose hollow trees as maternal sites.


  • Northern myotis are typically associated with wooded areas.


  • White-nose Syndrome (WNS) has led to catastrophic declines of bat populations in north-eastern North America. WNS is caused by a fungus that likely originated in Europe. It grows in humid, cold environments, typical of caves where bats hibernate.
  • It was first identified in a cave near Albany, New York in 2006. By 2010, WNS was confirmed in Ontario. The mortality rates at infected hibernation sites in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick are over 80%.
  • WNS is expanding in Canada at average rate range of 200-400km/yr. If the spread of WNS continues at the current rate, the entire Canadian population would likely be impacted within 11-22 years.

Conservation Actions

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