Endangered Species: Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops Floridanus)
As a conscientious, sustainability-minded consulting firm, Miller Legg’s environmental department does extensive work with native Florida wildlife, including monitoring, habitat management, and mitigation. We work to protect some of Florida’s protected species, including the Burrowing Owl, Gopher Tortoise, Sand hill Crane, Indigo Snake, and the focus of today’s blog, the elusive Bonneted Bat:
The Bonneted Bat (Eumops Floridanus), adorably named for their large and curled ‘elephant ear’ bonnet, is only found in Florida and is the largest bat native to the state. It nests and seeks shelter in both natural (tree cavities, rock crevices, caves, and foliage) as well as artificial structures (abandoned and active buildings or under bridges).
Females give birth to a single pup, but may have more than one reproductive cycle per year. Pups are born during the summer from June through September. Researchers have found them in the shafts of palm fronds found in landscape designs through-out Miami-Dade County. The geographic range is relatively small in Florida as seen in the map below:
You can see a roosting video here:
Unfortunately, the Florida Bonneted Bat is threatened by habitat loss from human population growth and associated development and agriculture. As a result, researchers suggest that the Bonneted Bat population numbers are in the hundreds to low thousands, which is very low.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FFWC) species-ranking database gave a score of 33.3 to the Florida Bonneted Bat. A species ranking above 27 is considered potentially at risk of extinction and warrants biological status review.
In October 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed to list the Florida bonneted bat as a Federally Endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA); this listing was accepted in 2013, extending the ESA’s protections to this species.
Have more questions about Bonneted Bats or require a Bonneted Bat roost or habitat survey? When survey needs may come up or when a person may face handling endangered species at their site, contact us at Miller Legg at 1-800 -980-0073. We have in-house wildlife professionals that can help.