Mammals of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Indiana Bat - Myotis sodalis
Vespertilionidae Members:
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Distribution In NC, restricted to the mountain region, particularly in the southern half of the mountains. We are not aware of records yet for the northern counties (Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga, and Avery).

Ranges over much of the northeastern and east-central parts of the country, ranging mainly from the Appalachian Mountains west to MO.
Abundance Strongly declining rangewide, owing to White Nose Syndrome losses. Rare in NC, as well as over its range. (It is a Federally Endangered species, and thus also is a State Endangered species as well.) Status is poorly understood in NC, as it roosts in trees in summer, and thus is very difficult to survey except with extensive mist-netting efforts. In summer, mainly known from the southwestern counties, where it might not be rare, but there are still relatively few records. In winter, very rare to rare, and declining, in caves.
Seasonal Occurrence Presumably migratory to an extent, as there is a shift in roosting habitats from forests in summer to caves in winter. However, it is not clear if the cave-dwellers in winter are local bats or are individuals that moved south from farther north.
Habitat In summer, primarily in rich forested areas, generally close to creeks, over which they likely forage. Most roost in trees (such as clumps of leaves or behind loose bark). A few roost in caves at that season. However, in winter, essentially all hibernate in caves, with limestone caves (very rare in NC) favored. Winter habitat in NC is caves, but generally in fissure caves (in felsic rocks).
Behavior They forage at night over forests and over creeks (in the warmer months). In winter, they roost in large colonies up to about 500 individuals. However, in NC, numbers are seldom more than 5-10 individuals, as the state lies at the far eastern edge of the range.
Comments There is considerable concern for the survival of the species, as it not only is rare, but as it also roosts strictly in caves, most of which have now been hit by White Nose Syndrome. Nearly all of the older NC records were of cave individuals in winter; however, recent mist-netting efforts in several far western counties during the warmer months have revealed the presence of the species in a wide array of forests. Thus, it could be somewhat widespread in summer in much of the mountains of NC, at least in the lower and middle elevations in the southwestern counties.
Origin Native
NC List Official
State Rank S1S2
State Status E
Global Rank G2
Federal Status E
other_comName Indiana Myotis
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all database records for species in that county.