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BLM>Colorado>Field Offices>Uncompahgre>Wildlife & Vegetation>Bats
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Silver-haired Bat

Long-eared Myotis

Townsend's Big-eared Bat

Fringed Myotis

Pallid Bat


If you look up in the Colorado sky at twilight, you might see what appear to be birds darting about. Look more closely though, and you may discover that many of these flying objects are actually bats!


Big Free-tailed BatBats are mammals belonging to the Order Chiroptera (from the Greek meaning hand-wing).  The order currently contains two sub-orders, which distinguish Old World fruit bats and flying foxes with strong visual acuity from bats that navigate primarily by echolocation (the use of echoes to navigate, as well as to locate, range, and identify food and other objects). 

There are over 1,000 bat species throughout the world—all of which fly.  Bats have elongated fingers with skin that stretches to form "wings," and are the only true flying mammals.  Other airborne mammals (such as flying squirrels) are actually gliders.


Around 70% of bats are insectivorous (insect eaters), while several species are frugivorous (fruit eaters) or nectarivorous (nectar or pollen eaters), and a few species are carnivorous (meat eaters), piscivorous (fish eaters), or saguivorous (blood eaters).  Insect-eating bats can consume almost one third of their body weight in insects each night!


Among the threats to bat populations worldwide, habitat destruction, increased use of wind turbines, and white-nose syndrome top the list.  Click on the link at right to learn more about white-nose syndrome. 


Bats in the UFO


Bats have the adaptability to establish habitats in all kinds of places.  In Colorado, abandoned mines are common sites for bat roosts.  In 2008 and 2009, the BLM conducted bat surveys of twelve UFO locations, including in the Paradox Valley, Gunnison Gorge, and Dominguez-Escalante NCA.  Mist netting and active and passive acoustic monitoring were employed in order to determine bat distribution across the UFO (as detailed in reports below).


Additional Information


Link to UFO Bat List


Protect Our Bats:  Learn More About White-Nose Syndrome

Bat Conservation International

Colorado Bat Working Group

FWS White-Nose Syndrome National Plan

North American Symposium on Bat Research

Western Bat Working Group




Teresa Pfifer, Acting Field Manager

Phone: (970) 240-5300  |  TDD: (970) 240-5366  |  FAX: (970) 240-5367

2465 S. Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO  81401

Office Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Click on the address above for a map showing the location of

BLM Uncompahgre Field Office administrative headquarters


Bat Graphic