Townsends Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii)

(Thank-you to Dr. Merlin Tuttle, Bat Conservation International for use of this picture)

There are only a few maternity colonies still in existence of this species of bat in British Columbia. Their status is considered to be threatened. They are quite happy to set up maternity colonies in man made buildings, and the best known colonies can be found near Cranbrook, B.C. They form maternity colonies ranging from 12 to 100. These bats weigh about 10 to 12 grams and have VERY long ears. They eat small moths, lacewings, dung beetles, flies and sawflies.

These bats do not migrate, but prefer to hibernate within 65 kms of their summer roosts. They are very fragile to disturbances during hibernation, and any spelunkers or cavers who find them should report their locations so that they may be protected. Even seemingly harmless "visits" during the winter, can cause them to burn up so much energy during arousal, that they end up dying of starvation before springtime.