Visit to a Bat hibernacula. Enter a bat hibernacula in the Kawarthas (Ontario) with Dr Brock Fenton. From You Tube.
A little brown bat yawns and stretches before settling down for a nap near Guelph, Ont. From You Tube.
Reproduction and Development
Bats reproduce slowly, typically bearing one to two young per year (three to four is possible but rare). Most Canadian species mate in autumn and females store sperm in the uterus over winter. Ovulation and fertilization occur in spring when bats leave hibernation, and young are born about 60 days later, usually in mid June. Newborn bats weigh about 25% of their mothers' mass and grow very quickly. Young bats consume only their mothers' milk until they are large enough to fly and hunt insects. Young little brown bats, for example, may fly by the age of three weeks. Bats are long-lived mammals: the oldest bat recorded in Canada was over 30 when last seen in the wild.
Distribution and Habitat
Bats live across Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador to HAIDA GWAII and from the US border to the TREELINE. In summer, most roost in hollows and crevices in and around cliffs or buildings, while some roost in foliage. In winter, Canadian bats hibernate or migrate to warmer areas. Some Canadian bats migrate several hundred kilometres between summer and winter roosts. Bats that hibernate use underground sites, caves or old mines; only big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) regularly hibernate in buildings.
Active bats can eat over 50% of their body weight every day, while lactating females may consume over 100% of their body weight, reflecting the cost of producing milk. Canadian species of bats usually feed on insects. In the tropics and subtropics there are many more species of bat, some of which eat fruit, leaves, nectar and pollen, other animals (even bats) and blood. The three species of blood feeders (vampires) occur in South and Central America.
Author M.B. FENTON
Links to Other Sites
Endangered Species in Endangered Spaces
An informative website about rare and endangered plants and animals in the Thompson-Okanagan region of British Columbia. Click on the menu at the left side of the page for information about specific species. From the Royal British Columbia Musuem.
Bats of Windsor and Essex County
An informative site about bat populations in the Windsor region.
Canadian Biodiversity Website
A great information source for all budding biologists. Learn about biodiversity theory, natural history, and conservation issues. From McGill’s Redpath Museum.
An extensively illustrated guide to wildlife species found in British Columbia. Covers bats, birds, beetles, bugs and much more. Also features an insect glossary and notes about invasive species. A biogeographic initiative of the Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, UBC.
White Nose Syndrome in Ontario Bats
Watch a Government of Ontario video clip about the occurance of White Nose Syndrome in Ontario bat populations. From YouTube.
This site features a map illustrating the occurances of white-nose syndrome in North American bat populations. From the US Geological Survey.
Whither Yukon bats in winter?
This article wonders about where bats residing in the Yukon spend the winter. From the "yourYukon" website.