SAVE AMERICA’S RAREST BAT
The Florida Bonneted Bat
Florida Bonneted Bat
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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.
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.
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.
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.
These bats sleep upside down hanging by their legs.
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)
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
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:
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
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
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
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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.”