As startling as they can be, bats are some of the coolest, most helpful-to-humans animals in Montana. That's a good thing because we have a wide variety of the flying mammals...but can you guess how many species call Montana home?

Montana is home to only 15 of the 1,400+ species of bats on earth.

But there's a caveat to that 'only'....bats are one of the largest orders in the animal kingdom, meaning there are lots of different kinds. In fact, bats make up almost 20% of all mammals. Crazy, right? (The only order that has more species is rodents.) The U.S. is home to only 47 of the bat species. A nice reminder that it's a big, big world.

Some of them are actually cute, but you'd have to travel to a place like Honduras to find one. The Honduran White Bat, to be specific. Want to see a list of ALL of the species of bats in the world? can help with that.

Why are bats so awesomely important? Bugs. Or, more accurately, bug control and disease prevention. Bats are incredibly important at controlling bug populations. According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks:

The agricultural pest control service of bats in Montana is valued at $680 million dollars/year. Yet, bats everywhere are threatened by habitat loss, pesticide use, and a new disease called white-nose syndrome that has killed 6 million bats in eastern states.

What bats call Montana home? We might only have 15 species of the 1,400 total species of bats but we DO have some of the cool ones. Unfortunately, many of our bats are 'species of concern'...meaning they are "considered to be at risk due to declining population trends, threats to their habitats, and/or restricted distribution."

  • Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
  • California Myotis (Myotis californicus)
  • Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
    Species of Concern
  • Fringed Myotis (Myotis thysanodes)
    Species of Concern
  • Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus)
    Other Names: Aeorestes cinereus
    Species of Concern
  • Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus0
    Other Names: Little Brown Bat
    Species of Concern
  • Long-eared Myotis (Myotis evotis)
    Species of Concern
  • Long-legged Myotis (Myotis volans0
    Species of Concern
  • Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis)
    Other Names: Northern Long-eared Myotis, Northern Long-eared Bat Myotis keenii septentrionalis
    Species of Concern
  • Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus)
    Species of Concern
  • Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
    Potential Species of Concern
  • Spotted Bat (Euderma maculatum)
    Species of Concern
  • Townsend's Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii)
    Species of Concern
  • Western Small-footed Myotis (Myotis ciliolabrum)
  • Yuma Myotis (Myotis yumanensis)
    Species of Concern
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