Bats in Sagebrush

a logo graphic for Bat Week 2023

Bats are vital to the health of economies and natural ecosystems -- even sagebrush-steppe! 

While sage is not these little mammals' primary habitat, many state wildlife plans associate bat species with sagebrush, especially riparian areas where they forage for insects. 

A myotis bat flying in daylight against puffy clouds
A day-flying Myotis bat; Jordi Segers/Canadian Wildlife Health Center

In the process, they help pollinate grasses and forbs that sage-grouse and hundreds of other species rely on for food and which cycle crucial moisture in these typically dry ecosystems. 


a little brown myotis bat on rocky soil
Little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus); J.N. Stuart/Creative Commons
a long-eared myotis bat
Long-eared myotis (Myotis evotis); Montana FWP/Adam Messer

In all, ten bat species are associated with sagebrush in various states. 

a hoary bat hanging in a leafy tree
Hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus); Paul Cryan/U.S. Geological Survey
a pallid bat against a dark background
Pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus); iNaturalist
A sage-grouse feeds in tall grass and forbs in a wet meadow
A greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) feeds in a sunlit wet meadow; Tom Koerner/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 Other bat species not shown but often found in riparian sage-steppe: 


Heather Feeney, Public Affairs Specialist

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