As we began to learn more about Nevada’s Basin and Range country—what it’s like to hike Mount Irish or rappel into the great Leviathan Cave —the story keeps growing more and more expansive, almost like the land itself.
And because this basin and range region encompasses just that—lower-elevation valleys and high-elevation mountains—the region is home to some really diverse wildlife. From mice to pronghorn, pygmy rabbits to shrike, the list goes on. And one of the more interesting wildlife facts about the area is that it is home to 16 species of bats. Sixteen!
There are 23 bat species found in Nevada, so that’s two-thirds of them that depend on this basin and range for habitat. These bats range in size, color, form, and habits, but of course, they are all mammals. Bats are the only mammal that can truly fly. And thanks to YouTube and organizations such as Bat Conservation International (BCI) and others, bats are becoming better understood and even liked for their contributions to insect control, pollination of plants and food crops, and over-all ecosystem balance.
Nevada’s bat populations, like bats worldwide, have been greatly diminished in numbers. In Nevada, this has been because of habitat destruction, disturbance by humans during hibernation and when they roost in maternity colonies to nurse “pups,” and the use of pesticides. Protecting Basin and Range would go a long way in this fight for bats’ survival, and for that of many other animals.
Here’s a list of those 16 species found in Basin and Range:
- Pallid bat Antrozous pallidus – State “protected” species
- Big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus – BLM “sensitive” species
- Greater western mastiff bat Eumops perotis – BLM “sensitive” species
- Allen’s lappet-browed bat Idionycteris phyllotis – BLM “sensitive” species, state
“protected” species, FWS “species of concern”
- Western red bat Lasiurus blossivillii – BLM and state “sensitive” species Hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus– BLM “sensitive” species
- Silver-haired bat Lasionycteris noctivagans – BLM “sensitive” species
- California leaf-nosed bat Macrotus californicus – BLM and state “sensitive” species, FWS species of concern
- California myotis Myotis californicus – BLM “sensitive” species
- Small-footed myotis Myotis ciliolabrum – BLM and state “sensitive” species, FWS species of concern
- Long-eared myotis Myotis evotis – BLM “sensitive” species
- Little brown myotis Myotis lucifugus – BLM “sensitive” species
- Cave myotis Myotis velifer – BLM “sensitive” species, FWS species of concern
- Long-legged myotis Myotis volans – BLM “sensitive” species
- Yuma myotis Myotis yumanensis – BLM “sensitive” species
- Western pipistrelle Pipistrellus hesperus – BLM “sensitive” species
- Brazilian free-tailed bat Tadarida brasilliansis – BLM “sensitive” species, state “protected” species