Biodiversity Profile: Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat
Also known as a Mexican free-tailed bat, this nocturnal mammal emerges at dusk to feed on moths, flying ants, beetles, and other insects, sometimes flying miles beyond its home to its favorite feeding areas. A friend to agriculture, the bat’s diet helps reduce the need for pesticides, and its waste (“guano”) is an effective fertilizer. Field trips during Biodiversity Without Boundaries 2010 took participants to see colonies of millions of these bats in their native habitats in the Austin, Texas, area. (Photo: ©Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org.)
- Scientific name
- Tadarida brasiliensis
- Globally secure, though suitable sites for large colonies are extremely limited, and white-nosed syndrome looms as a potentially devastating threat
- Southern Oregon, northern Nebraska, and southern North Carolina southward through most of Central America and Antilles to central Argentina, southern Brazil, and central Chile, excluding Amazonia.
- Roosts primarily in caves and buildings; may use bridges and rock crevices. Generally roosts high (at least 3 m) above ground to allow free fall required to attain flight. Tends to return to natal cave to breed.
- Mobility and Migration
- Foraging habitat is very broad; may range as far as 80 km to feed. Colonies in the eastern United States and West Coast tend to hibernate, but populations in Texas and the Great Plains migrate to Mexico.
Get more data on the Brazilian free-tailed bat at NatureServe Explorer.