SAVE AMERICA’S RAREST BAT

The Florida Bonneted Bat

Florida Bonneted Bat

Click on the different body parts.

Try our interactive bat illustration

The Florida bonneted bat is a federally endangered species found nowhere in the world but south and central Florida. They are believed to occur in just 14 counties: Miami - Dade, Monroe, Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Glades, Charlotte, Okeechobee, Highlands, Desoto, Sarasota, Osceola, and Polk.

Anatomy: Head

Named for the way its ears form a fetching cowl over its inquisitive, long-snouted face, the velvet-coated bonneted bat is Florida’s largest—but also its rarest. The ears of these bats are broad and forward-facing, giving their heads the appearance of a bonnet.  The ears are not fully separated, they are joined at the base. These funnel-shaped ears point forward allowing them to detect insects at long range.

The bonneted bat is Insectivorous. It eats a variety of insects such as beetles, flies, and true bugs.

Bat calls (high-pitched chirps and squeaks) can sometimes be heard during the day.

Anatomy: Wings

The bonneted bat is Florida’s largest Chiropteran species, with a wingspan of up to 20 inches.  The bonneted bat typically leaves its roosts shortly after sunset.  At night the bats fly high in the sky, feeding on insects.

Anatomy: Body

The Florida bonneted bat has an average of 6-inch in length.  These are the largest bats east of the Mississippi River. Each bat is about the size of a standard iPhone when at rest.  During the day, they sleep beneath barrel tile roofs, in live and dead palm trees and pine tree cavities, and in bat houses.

Anatomy: Legs

These bats sleep upside down hanging by their legs.

Anatomy: Tail

Florida bonneted bats have tails that extend about an inch beyond their tail membrane.


Binomial: Eumops Floridanus

Family: Molossidae (free-tailed bats)

Colony size: Small - individuals to several dozen

Wingspan: 20 inches (51 cm)

Diet: Insectivorous

Status: Endangered

Region: Southern Florida


Found a sick or injured bat?

Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

If you suspect a person or pet has been bitten or scratched by a bat, or you have found a bat in your home (especially in a child's bedroom), immediately contact your county health department. Never directly handle bats.

Largest species of bat in Florida, about the size of a chipmunk

Feeds on insects protecting our crops and lowering pesticide use

Has low reproductive capacity, giving birth to only 1 pup per breeding season

Loss of habitat is their biggest threat, including the destruction of natural roost sites and natural disasters such as hurricanes

Found a sick or injured bat?

Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

If you suspect a person or pet has been bitten or scratched by a bat, or you have found a bat in your home (especially in a child's bedroom), immediately contact your county health department. Never directly handle bats.

Donate

The Florida bonneted bat is a Federally endangered species. Due to their protective status, placement of target bat houses on private property is discouraged.

There are other ways to make a difference. Make a donation to support our work or install a bat house designed for other local species.

Bat houses

Install 20 hurricane-resistant bat houses in critical roosting areas by 2021

Engaging local citizens

Engage over 3,600 local citizens per year

Our Work

The FPL Bat Lab at Zoo Miami is founded by Bat Conservation International, and NextEra Energy, the parent company of Florida Power & Light Company.
We will protect the Florida Bonneted Bat by:

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RESEARCH

Gaining knowledge to protect this species.

  • Identify habitat areas that are prime for roosting sites
  • Understand the diet of urban-based Florida bonneted bats
  • Understand how noise and light pollution impact bat populations

 

Community Outreach

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Raising awareness based on our research.

  • Help the public understand how everyday activities can impact structures where these amazing creatures roost
  • Generate support for bat houses in public spaces
  • Conserve open foraging space
Artificial Roost

ARTIFICIAL ROOSTS

Creating safe habitats.

  • Research new bat house designs for urban environments
  • Reduce everyday disturbances and decrease conflicts with homeowners by installing specially designed bat houses in public spaces

 

#OurEndangeredNeighbor

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The FPL Bat Lab at Zoo Miami is founded by:


 

“The importance of the partnership between Zoo Miami, NextEra, and BCI cannot be overstated. By combining their unique resources, they have created a role model for conservation efforts to better understand and protect this critically endangered species for future generations.”

Ron Magill

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