Where do bats live?

Bats can be found in almost all parts of the world and in most regions of the United States.

In general, bats seek out a variety of daytime retreats such as caves, rock crevices, old buildings, bridges, mines, and trees. Different species require different roost sites. Some species, such as the Mexican free-tailed and gray bats live in large colonies in caves. A few solitary species, such as the red bat, roost in trees.

In winter, bats either hibernate or migrate to warmer areas. Those that hibernate build up a fat reserve to sustain them through the winter. If they’re disturbed, their fat reserve could become exhausted and they could die prior to spring.

Learn more at the USGS North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) website.

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Image: Scientist at Bat Cave
April 2, 2008

Scientist at Bat Cave

USGS wildlife disease specialist Kim Miller outside of an abandoned mine where bats hibernate in New York.

Image: Bat with Radio Transmitter

Bat with Radio Transmitter

USGS biologist Paul Cryan releases a bat carrying a miniature radio transmitter. Researchers are increasingly turning to high-tech methods to try to learn more about the mysterious lives of bats.