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Townsend's Big-Eared Bat

Scientific Name:

Corynorhinus townsendii




Forests, deserts, riparian areas, and prairies


Western parts of Canada, through the western United States, and down into Mexico


Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Townsend’s big-eared bat is considered a medium size bat with a wing span of 12 to 13 inches and weighing only .3 to .5 ounces. As their name implies, these bats have long ears. They curl their ears up during hibernation, hence the nickname “ram eared bat” since the curled up long ears look like ram horns. They also have prominent lumps on either side of their nose. Townsend’s big-eared bats have light brown and/or pale grey fur on the upper parts of their bodies with paler, buff colored fur on their under bodies. These bats can be observed flying at such slow speeds that it appears they are hovering. Townsend’s Big-eared bats eat mostly moths. Like other bats, this species of bat uses echolocation to detect insects and to capture them.

Fast Facts:

  • Townsend’s big-eared bat can live up to sixteen (or more) years!

  • They like stable temperatures in well-ventilated caves where they will live with anywhere from a few other bats to over 100 other bats.

  • They will hibernate up to 7 months out of the year. 

  • Newborn bats can fly as early as three weeks.

  • Bats have lived in the areas now known as America since the time of dinosaurs.

  • Bats are very beneficial to humans since they are a natural resource for controlling insects! The droppings of bats are beneficial in agriculture products like soil.

  • There are several species of bats that live in the Truckee Meadows and it has been reported by bat lovers that Townsend’s Big-eared bats can be seen in most parks after sunset looking for their favorite foods.



Caron Tayloe (research & content)

Rachel Carroll (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

March 27, 2024 at 1:48:22 AM

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