New York Natural Heritage Program
Eastern Red Bat
Lasiurus borealis (Muller, 1776)
Mammals

Habitat [-]
Eastern red bats most often roost among tree foliage or sometimes in shrubs, leaf litter, dense grass or under house shingles (Shump and Shump 1982; Mager and Nelson 2001). They may select roosting locations that are 1-12 m above the ground and shaded from above but open below (Saunders 1988). In urban or rural areas where woods have been cleared, large remaining trees may provide important roosting habitat (Mager and Nelson 2001). They use a variety of deciduous tree species for roosting; common ones in the Midwest include American elm (Ulmus americana), box elder (Acer negundo), sweetgum (Liquidambar syraciflua), and oaks (Quercus spp.) (Constantine 1966; Mager and Nelson 2001). On Long Island one was reported roosting on exposed roots on a beach cliff. Day roosts are frequently located in edge habitat along streams, open fields, near canopy gaps, or near urban areas (Constantine 1966; Mumford 1973; Shump and Shump 1982; Hutchinson and Lacki 2000), and are typically located within foraging areas (Elmore et al. 2005).

Eastern red bats may forage over open areas including over water, parks, pasture lands, along forest edges, in canopy gaps, and over clearcut harvests (Mager and Nelson 2001; Elmore et al. 2005; Walters et al. 2007). They are also known to forage around street lights and residential lighting that attract insects (Mager and Nelson 2001). They may select habitat at a landscape-level with a higher composition of water and moderate human development, and a lower composition of agriculture and dense forest (Mager and Nelson 2001; Loeb and O‘Keefe 2006; Yates and Muzika 2006; Limpert et al. 2007; NYNHP unpubl. data).

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Maple-basswood rich mesic forest
    A species rich hardwood forest that typically occurs on well-drained, moist soils of circumneutral pH. Rich herbs are predominant in the ground layer and are usually correlated with calcareous bedrock, although bedrock does not have to be exposed. The dominant trees are sugar maple, basswood, and white ash.
  • Oak openings
    A grass-savanna community that occurs on well-drained soils. In New York, these savannas originally occurred as openings within extensive oak-hickory forests. The best remnants occur on dolomite knobs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Associated Species [-]
  • Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
  • Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus)
  • Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)
  • Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis)