New York Natural Heritage Program
Hoary Bat
Lasiurus cinereus (Beauvois, 1796)
Mammals

Habitat [-]
Specific habitat requirements have not been studied for hoary bats in New York and few studies exist of their roosting and foraging habitats in eastern North America.

Hoary bats roost in deciduous and coniferous trees among foliage and may use a variety of tree species (Saunders 1988). Roost heights of 3-5 m above the ground have been reported (Shump and Shump 1982; Saunders 1988); however, heights averaging around 16 m have also been reported (Perry and Thill 2007). In Arkansas, roosts were typically in tall and large (>21cm dbh) oaks and pines within mature (>50 yrs old) mixed stands with 80% canopy cover (Perry and Thill 2007). The only radio-tracking study known from the northeastern U.S. documented roosts and foraging habitat of a single juvenile in New Hampshire (Veilleux et al. 2009). It was found to roost in hemlocks within a larger hemlock stand and its home range encompassed mostly mixed and coniferous forest, and included some open habitats and wetlands as well (Veilleux et al. 2009).

Although roosts may be typically located in forests or wooded areas, hoary bats forage in open areas and avoid dense vegetation or cluttered habitats for this activity (Owen et al. 2004; Brooks and Ford 2005). They typically forage in forest openings, over water, or around trees (Saunders 1988). Hoary bats have been reported to forage over clearcut harvests (Owen et al. 2004) and over reservoirs and large ponds (Brooks and Ford 2005).

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.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • 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.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • 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.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • 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.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • 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.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • 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.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Successional shrubland*
    A shrubland that occurs on sites that have been cleared (for farming, logging, development, etc.) or otherwise disturbed. This community has at least 50% cover of shrubs.

    * probable association but not confirmed

Associated Species [-]
  • Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
  • Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
  • Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)