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Top 20 States With The Most Bat Species

Image via Wikimedia - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

Bats are remarkable creatures, playing crucial roles in our ecosystems; but do you know which states contain the most bat species? Evidently from pollination to pest control, they contribute significantly to our environment. Here, we look at the top 20 states in the United States with the most bat species.

20. Kansas

Flying Fox Bat during the day time. Image via depositphotos.

Kansas is home to 15 different bat species. Moreover these nocturnal mammals have habitats thanks to the state’s diverse landscapes, which range from forests to prairies. Bats can live in a variety of habitats and find plenty of food here.

19. Mississippi

Australia, flying fox on tree sleeping. Image via depositphotos.

With 15 species, Mississippi’s warm climate and diverse environments make it a suitable home for many bats. The state’s wetlands and forests create ideal conditions for these creatures to roost and hunt insects.

18. Montana

Big brown bat
A big brown bat, crawling along the surface of a rock. Image via John MacGregor (Land Between the Lakes KY/TN), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Montana also hosts 15 bat species. The state’s mountains and forests are ideal for bats to thrive. Bats in Montana find plenty of natural roosting sites in the numerous caves and old-growth forests.

17. Oregon

Flying bat
Flying fox at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia. Image via Daniel Vianna Mr.Rocks, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons

Oregon’s 15 bat species benefit from the state’s rich forests and extensive cave systems. Undoubtedly the cool, moist environments of Oregon’s forests provide excellent foraging grounds for bats and safe places to raise their young.

16. Wyoming

Image via Wikicommons – Public Domain

Wyoming has 18 species of bats. The state’s wide-open spaces and natural caves provide perfect roosting spots. Bat populations are maintained by the abundance of insects found in Wyoming’s diverse terrain.

15. Utah

Image by Ann Froschauer/USFWS, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Utah shares its 18 bat species with Wyoming and Colorado. The state’s national parks and desert areas are great habitats. Bats in Utah enjoy the dry, warm climate and abundant food sources in the deserts and canyons.

14. Colorado

Image via Wikimedia – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

Colorado’s 18 bat species find homes in its mountain ranges and forests. The state’s protected areas help in bat conservation. Colorado’s high-altitude habitats offer unique environments where bats can thrive away from human disturbances.

13. Virginia

Hawaiian hoary bat
Hawaiian hoary bat.

Image by Sally Dixon via Unsplash

Virginia has 17 bat species. Its mix of coastal plains and mountainous regions provides diverse habitats. The state’s varied landscapes, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay, offer rich feeding and roosting opportunities for bats.

12. North Carolina

bat
Bat flying .Image by James Wainscoat via Unsplash.com

North Carolina also hosts 17 bat species. These animals are well-supported by the state’s varied landscapes and warm climate. The forests, wetlands and vast agricultural areas provide an abundance of food sources for bats.

11. Alabama

vampire bats
By Ltshears – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9372710

Alabama comes in eleventh with 16 species. The state’s conservation efforts help maintain these populations. Alabama’s warm, humid climate and diverse habitats provide ideal conditions for bat colonies to grow and flourish.

10. Arkansas

Gray bat
Gray bat being held by a researcher. Image via English: NPS Photo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas also has 16 bat species. Its forests and wetlands offer rich habitats for these nocturnal animals. The state’s numerous caves and protected areas provide safe roosting spots and abundant food for its bat populations.

9. Georgia

Fruit bats
Fruit bats. Image via Mike’s Birds from Riverside, CA, US, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Georgia hosts 16 species of bats. The state’s warm weather and abundant forests provide perfect living conditions. Bats in Georgia thrive in the state’s mix of deciduous forests, wetlands and urban areas, where they find ample insects to eat.

8. Kentucky

Image via Wikimedia – Public Domain

Kentucky comes in eighth with its 16 bat species. The state’s Mammoth Cave is a notable roosting site. Kentucky’s extensive cave systems and forested areas provide bats with plenty of places to live and hunt.

7. Tennessee

indiana bat
Indiana bat. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee is home to 16 bat species as well. The Great Smoky Mountains and numerous caves provide excellent environments. The state’s varied terrain, from mountains to valleys, supports diverse bat populations and offers many natural roosting sites.

6. Oklahoma

Baby bat
By Gilles San Martin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8123009

Oklahoma comes in sixth with a whopping 24 bat species. The state’s mix of prairies, forests and caves provide diverse habitats. Bats in Oklahoma benefit from the warm climate and plentiful insects found in the state’s varied ecosystems.

5. New Mexico

pallid bat
By Marshal Hedin from San Diego – Antrozous pallidus (Pallid Bat), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24872544

New Mexico hosts 24 bat species. The largest bat found in New Mexico is the Western Mastiff Bat, while the smallest is the Canyon Bat.

4. Nevada

Bat
Shouting Pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) flying on attic of church in darkness. Image by CreativeNature via depositphotos

Nevada has 23 species of bats. The Long-Eared Myotis, or Myotis evotis, is named for its jet-black ears and is found in almost every county in Nevada. Its lifespan is up to 22 years.

3. California

Flying Pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) action shot of hunting animal in natural forest background. This species is know for roosting and living in urban areas in Europe and Asia. Image via Depositphotos

California is home to 25 bat species. The most common bat found in Alameda County is the Mexican Freetail Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis). They frequently roost in big groups under bridges, in mines, caves, and buildings that are lower than 1500 feet in elevation throughout the state of California.

2. Arizona

vampire bats
Vampire Bats- They live in family groups. Image by Oasalehm, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Arizona hosts 28 species of bats. The state’s deserts and forests offer excellent habitats. From low deserts to high pine forests this state can support a wide range of bat species.

1. Texas

fruit bat
Image via Wikimedia – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

Texas tops the list with 32 bat species. The most prevalent type of bat in Texas is the Mexican free-tailed bat, sometimes referred to as the Brazilian free-tailed bat.

Species counts were sourced from World Population Review.

Wrapping Up with the Top 20 States With The Most Bat Species

Image via Wikimedia – http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

These states offer the ideal conditions for bats to flourish. Evidently bats are so important to our ecosystems. The three most prevalent species are the Mexican free-tailed bat, big brown bat, and little brown bat. Bat habitats must be preserved in order for these amazing animals to continue fulfilling their vital roles in the natural world.

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