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Lasiurus borealis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA VESPERTILIONIDAE

Scientific Name: Lasiurus borealis
Species Authority: (Müller, 1776)
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Red Bat, Red Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Subgenus Lasiurus, borealis species group (Simmons 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Miller, B., Reid, F., Cuarón, A.D. & de Grammont, P.C.
Reviewer(s): Medellín, R. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern in because of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in protected areas, tolerance to some degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eastern North America, Bermuda (Simmons 2005). Northeastern Mexico (Arroyo-Cabrales pers. comm.).
Countries:
Native:
Bermuda; Canada (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Québec, Saskatchewan); Mexico; United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Red bats are migratory, arriving in the northern climates in mid-April and leaving in late October. There are records of bats hibernating in the northern parts of their range, but they typically migrate to warmer regions. When red bats hibernate they choose hollow trees. They maintain body temperatures just above freezing and cannot withstand prolonged periods of below freezing temperatures. They may lose up to 25% of their pre-hibernation weight by spring, severely depleting fat reserves (Fenton, 1985).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: They tend to choose habitats that are sparsely to moderately populated by humans and are rare in heavily urbanized areas. Mating takes place in flight and copulation usually occurs in August or September. The sperm is stored until the spring, usually March or April. Female red bats possess four mammary glands while most other chiropterans have two. Female red bats give birth to one litter of twins each year, unlike most bats which give birth to single young. Newborn bats are hairless and weigh approximately 1.5 g. The young learn to fly at about five weeks old. Like all mammals, female red bats nurse their young until the young are able to fend for themselves. It takes young red bats about five weeks to learn how to fly and forage on their own (Myers and Hatchett 2000).
Lasiurus borealis choose roosting sites in dense foliage. They may be visible hanging from branches or leaves but their coloration helps to camouflage them from predators. Their red coat is particularly helpful at camouflaging them in sycamore, oaks, elm, and box elder trees and they seem to prefer these trees as roost sites (Constantine, 1996). Sites that have been used as roosting areas range from 2 to 40 feet off the ground. The roosting sites of solitary bats have not been as well studied as those of more gregarious bats. Some field workers believe that red bats defend feeding territories. (Constantine, 1966; Fenton, 1985)
Red bats are insectivorous. They capture insects while flying like many other insectivorous bats (Myers and Hatchett 2000).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Red bats are secure over most of their range and are not considered threatened (Myers and Hatchett 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Found in protected areas in Mexico.

Citation: Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Miller, B., Reid, F., Cuarón, A.D. & de Grammont, P.C. 2008. Lasiurus borealis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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