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White-nose Syndrome | Species & I.D.

All Ohio bats eat insects. In fact, many can consume more than 1,000 mosquitoes per hour. They drink while in flight by skimming the surfaces of puddles, streams or ponds with their mouths open. Most hibernate during winter, but two species – red and hoary bats – migrate to warmer climates like birds do.

White-nose Syndrome
View this short video to learn about white-nose syndrome, which has killed millions of bats in North America and was detected in Liberty Park in Twinsburg in early 2012.

Species & I.D.
Nine species have been identified in the Metro Parks, including:

1. Little Brown | 2. Northern Long-eared | 3. Indiana | 4. Big Brown
5. Eastern Pipistrelle | 6. Red | 7. Hoary | 8. Silver-haired | 9. Eastern Small-footed

To help you identify bats, volunteers have created an interactive key to Ohio species. Download the PowerPoint file (13.5 MB).

Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifigus)
• The most common bat species in the Metro Parks
• Uses structures such as attics, barns and bat houses to raise young in summer
• Can eat hundreds of mosquitoes per hour
• Range covers most of North America

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Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)
• Prefers heavily forested areas
• A slow-flying bat that can maneuver among trees in search of food
• Has relatively long ears, but the pointed tragus – which filters returning echolocation calls – is more characteristic of the species

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Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalist)
• A federally endangered species
• Rare throughout its range in the United States
• Has been observed at Liberty Park in Twinsburg and along the Towpath Trail near Clinton
• Hibernates in a small number of caves, making it vulnerable to extinction
• In spring, some travel hundreds of miles to the forest where they will raise young

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Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
• Second largest bat species in the Metro Parks and is very common
• Has a brown body but black face and ears
• Uses structures such as attics, barns and bat houses to raise young in summer

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Eastern Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus subflavus)
• One of the smallest bat species in the Metro Parks
• Has tri-colored hair that is often yellowish or orange at the tips
• A slow-flying bat that often forages above the tree canopy
• When flying, can be confused with a large moth

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Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
• A beautiful bat with red fur; males are brighter red or orange and females are a dull reddish-brown
• Doesn't hibernate, but flies south for winter, as far as South or Central America
• Often has two pups per year and raises young alone, hanging from leaves in trees for cover
• Can fly 40 mph, and is often viewed foraging for insects near street lamps

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Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus)
• Ohio's largest bat with a wingspan of nearly 17 inches
• Has tri-colored hair that is "frosted" on the tips. Fur on the wings and tail membrane allows it to withstand cold temperatures, much like the red bat
• Flies south for the winter
• Is a solitary bat that emerges late at night, and is not often seen or captured

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Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
• Little is known about the species
• Has black fur tipped with silver
• Is solitary and typically only seen in Ohio during fall
• Migrates in spring and fall and is expected to travel great distances

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Eastern Small-footed Bat (Myotis leibii)
• Ohio's rarest bat species, there have been just three sightings since 1842. The most recent was in September 2012 along the Bike & Hike Trail in Boston Township.
• Thumb-size mammal; the smallest bat species in North America
• Has a dark mask around the mouth and eyes, and very small feet


Did You Know?

Howl at the Moon
Coyotes inhabit all of our parks and conservation areas.

Good Wood
Wood from the black cherry tree is used to make furniture, cabinets and musical instruments.

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Leaves and Chipmunk
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