New York Natural Heritage Program
Northern Long-eared Bat
Myotis septentrionalis (Trovessart, 1897)
Mammals

Habitat [-]
Northern myotis are typically associated with mature interior forest (Carroll et al. 2002) and tend to avoid woodlands with significant edge habitat (Yates and Muzika 2006). Northern myotis may most often be found in cluttered or densely forested areas including in uplands and at streams or vernal pools (Brooks and Ford 2005). Northern myotis may use small openings or canopy gaps as well. In one study in northwestern South Carolina, detection of northern myotis was best predicted in mature stands but also in areas with sparse vegetation (Loeb and O'Keefe 2006). Some research suggests that northern myotis forage on forested ridges and hillsides rather than in riparian or floodplain forests (Harvey et al. 1999). Captures from NY suggest that northern myotis may also be found using younger forest types (NYSDEC unpublished data). Northern myotis select day roosts in dead or live trees under loose bark, or in cavities and crevices, and may sometimes use caves as night roosts (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2013). They may also roost in buildings or behind shutters. A variety of tree species are used for roosting. The structural complexity of surrounding habitat and availability of roost trees may be important factors in roost selection (Carter and Feldhamer 2005). Roosts of female bats tend to be large diameter, tall trees, and in at least some areas, located within a less dense canopy (Sasse and Pekins 1996). Northern myotis hibernates in caves and mines where the air temperature is constant, preferring cooler areas with high humidity (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2013).

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • Acidic talus slope woodland
    An open to closed canopy woodland that occurs on talus slopes (slopes of boulders and rocks, often at the base of cliffs) composed of non-calcareous rocks such as granite, quartzite, or schist.
  • Allegheny oak forest
    A hardwood forest that occurs on well-drained sites in the unglaciated portion of southwestern New York. This is a forest of mixed oaks with a diverse canopy and richer ground flora than other oak communities in the state.
  • Appalachian oak-hickory forest
    A hardwood forest that occurs on well-drained sites, usually on ridgetops, upper slopes, or south- and west-facing slopes. The soils are usually loams or sandy loams. This is a broadly defined forest community with several regional and edaphic variants. The dominant trees include red oak, white oak, and/or black oak. Mixed with the oaks, usually at lower densities, are pignut, shagbark, and/or sweet pignut hickory.
  • Appalachian oak-pine forest
    A mixed forest that occurs on sandy soils, sandy ravines in pine barrens, or on slopes with rocky soils that are well-drained. The canopy is dominated by a mixture of oaks and pines.
  • Beech-maple mesic forest
    A hardwood forest with sugar maple and American beech codominant. This is a broadly defined community type with several variants. These forests occur on moist, well-drained, usually acid soils. Common associates are yellow birch, white ash, hop hornbeam, and red maple.
  • Calcareous talus slope woodland
    An open or closed canopy community that occurs on talus slopes composed of calcareous bedrock such as limestone or dolomite. The soils are usually moist and loamy; there may be numerous rock outcrops.
  • Chestnut oak forest
    A hardwood forest that occurs on well-drained sites in glaciated portions of the Appalachians, and on the coastal plain. This forest is similar to the Allegheny oak forest; it is distinguished by fewer canopy dominants and a less diverse shrublayer and groundlayer flora. Dominant trees are typically chestnut oak and red oak.
  • Coastal oak-beech forest
    A hardwood forest with oaks and American beech codominant that occurs in dry well-drained, loamy sand of morainal coves of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Some occurrences are associated with maritime beech forest.
  • Coastal oak-heath forest
    A low diversity, large patch to matrix, hardwood forest that typically occurs on dry, well-drained, sandy soils of glacial outwash plains or moraines of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The forest is usually codominated by two or more species of scarlet oak, white oak, and black oak.
  • Coastal oak-hickory forest
    A hardwood forest with oaks and hickories codominant that occurs in dry, well-drained, loamy sand of knolls, upper slopes, or south-facing slopes of glacial moraines of the Atlantic Coastal Plain.
  • Coastal oak-laurel forest
    A large patch low diversity hardwood forest with broadleaf canopy and evergreen subcanopy that typically occurs on dry, well-drained, sandy and gravelly soils of morainal hills of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The dominant tree is typically scarlet oak. The shrub layer is well-developed typically with a tall, often nearly continuous cover of the evergreen heath, mountain laurel.
  • Dwarf pine ridges
    A woodland community dominated by dwarf individuals of pitch pine and black huckleberry, which occurs on flat-topped summits of rocky ridges. The bedrock is a white quartzite conglomerate; soils are very thin, and they are rich in organic matter from litter that has accumulated on the bedrock.
  • Hemlock-northern hardwood forest
    A mixed forest that typically occurs on middle to lower slopes of ravines, on cool, mid-elevation slopes, and on moist, well-drained sites at the margins of swamps. Eastern hemlock is present and is often the most abundant tree in the forest.
  • Limestone woodland
    A woodland that occurs on shallow soils over limestone bedrock in non-alvar settings, and usually includes numerous rock outcrops. There are usually several codominant trees, although one species may become dominant in any one stand.
  • Maritime beech forest
    A hardwood forest with American beech as a dominant that usually occurs on north-facing exposed bluffs and the back portions of rolling dunes in well-drained fine sands. Wind and salt spray cause the trees to be stunted (average height 4 m to 15 m) and multiple-stemmed with contorted branches, especially on the exposed bluffs.
  • Maritime pitch pine dune woodland
    A maritime woodland that occurs on stabilized parabolic dunes. The substrate is wind and wave deposited sand that is usually excessively well-drained and nutrient poor. The community is subject to high winds, sand-blasting, salt spray, and shifting substrate.
  • Maritime post oak forest
    An oak-dominated forest that borders salt marshes or occurs on exposed bluffs and sand spits within about 200 meters of the seacoast. The trees may be somewhat stunted and flat-topped from pruning by salt spray and wind exposure. The forest is usually dominated by two or more species of oaks, including post oak, black oak, scarlet oak, and white oak.
  • Mine/artificial cave community
    The biota of an abandoned mine or artificial underground excavation. Abandoned mines that are deep enough to maintain stable winter temperatures are important bat hibernacula. Mines, like natural caves, may be terrestrial or aquatic. Wells are also included here.
  • Oak-tulip tree forest
    A hardwood forest that occurs on moist, well-drained sites in southeastern New York. The dominant trees include a mixture of five or more of the following: red oak, tulip tree, American beech, black birch, red maple, scarlet oak, black oak, and white oak.
  • Pine-northern hardwood forest
    A mixed forest that occurs on gravelly outwash plains, delta sands, eskers, and dry lake sands in the Adirondacks. The dominant trees are white pine and red pine.
  • Pitch pine-heath barrens
    A shrub-savanna community that occurs on well-drained, sandy or rocky soils. The most abundant tree is pitch pine and the shrublayer is dominated by heath shrubs.
  • Pitch pine-oak forest
    A mixed forest that typically occurs on well-drained, sandy soils of glacial outwash plains or moraines; it also occurs on thin, rocky soils of ridgetops. The dominant trees are pitch pine mixed with one or more of the following oaks: scarlet oak, white oak, red oak, or black oak.
  • Pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summit
    A community that occurs on warm, dry, rocky ridgetops and summits where the bedrock is non-calcareous (such as quartzite, sandstone, or schist), and the soils are more or less acidic. This community is broadly defined and includes examples that may lack pines and are dominated by scrub oak and/or heath shrubs apparently related to fire regime.
  • Pitch pine-oak-heath woodland
    A pine barrens community that occurs on well-drained, infertile, sandy soils. The structure of this community is intermediate between a shrub-savanna and a woodland. Pitch pine and white oak are the most abundant trees.
  • Pitch pine-scrub oak barrens
    A shrub-savanna community that occurs on well-drained, sandy soils that have developed on sand dunes, glacial till, and outwash plains.
  • Red cedar rocky summit*
    A community that occurs on warm, dry, rocky ridgetops and summits where the bedrock is calcareous (such as limestone or dolomite, but also marble, amphibolite, and calcsilicate rock), and the soils are more or less calcareous. The vegetation may be sparse or patchy, with numerous lichen covered rock outcrops.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Rich mesophytic forest
    A hardwood or mixed forest that resembles the mixed mesophytic forests of the Allegheny Plateau south of New York but is less diverse. It occurs on rich, fine-textured, well-drained soils that are favorable for the dominance of a wide variety of tree species. A canopy with a relatively large number of codominant trees characterizes this forest. Canopy codominants include five or more of the following species: red oak, red maple, white ash, American beech, sugar maple, black cherry, cucumber tree, and black birch.
  • Rocky summit grassland
    A grassland community that occurs on rocky summits and exposed rocky slopes of hills. Woody plants are sparse and may be scattered near the margin of the community. Small trees and shrubs may be present at low percent cover.
  • Shale talus slope woodland
    An open to closed canopy woodland that occurs on talus slopes composed of shale. These slopes are rather unstable, and they are usually very well-drained, so the soils are shallow and dry. The canopy cover is usually less than 50%, due to the instability of the substrate.
  • Spruce-northern hardwood forest
    A mixed forest that occurs on lower mountain slopes and upper margins of flats on glacial till. This is a broadly defined community with several variants; it is one of the most common forest types in the Adirondacks. Codominant trees are red spruce, sugar maple, American beech, yellow birch, and red maple, with scattered balsam fir.
  • Terrestrial cave community
    The terrestrial community of a cave with bedrock walls, including the biota of both solution caves (in limestone) and tectonic caves. Temperatures are stable in deep caves. Small or shallow caves may have a temperature gradient ranging from cold (below freezing) to cool (up to 50 degrees F). Although many caves have ice on the cave floor in winter, the ceiling is warm enough for a bat hibernaculum.

Associated Species [-]
  • Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
  • Eastern Small-Footed Myotis (Myotis leibii)
  • Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)
  • Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis)
  • Eastern Pipistrelle (Perimyotis subflavus)