Species Profile

Pallid Bat

Scientific Name: Antrozous pallidus
Taxonomy Group: Mammals
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2010
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: D1
COSEWIC Reason for Designation:

This relatively large but rare bat is restricted to the semi-arid shrub-steppe of the southern Okanagan Valley, BC at the northern limit of its global distribution. Although the number of known individuals has increased since the last assessment, this can be attributed to increased survey effort and the enhanced knowledge of roost sites. Nevertheless, the population is still thought to be small (fewer than 1000 individuals), cliffs available for roosting are very limited and foraging habitat is in continuing decline.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Special Concern in April 1988. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in May 2000. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2010.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Pallid Bat

Pallid Bat Photo 1

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Description

The Pallid Bat is a large bat with slate grey wings and a pale abdomen. It is characterized by large tan-coloured ears, large (for a bat) eyes and short fur which fades from a pale yellowish-brown colour dorsally to cream ventrally. The nostrils of this bat are located on a raised ridge, and there are two glandular swellings (which emit a skunk like odour) behind them. The annual moult occurs between May and August. Females measure 107 to 130 mm and weigh 24 to 35 g. They are a little larger than the males.

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Distribution and Population

The Pallid Bat is a southwestern species that is found from northern Mexico to the edge of the Canada/United States border. In Canada, Pallid Bats are found only in an area of no more than 500 square kilometres of the Okanagan Valley in southern British Columbia. The size of the Canadian population is unknown but it likely is quite small. Recent evidence indicates that the species breeds in Canada although it remains uncertain if it winters here.

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Habitat

Pallid bats inhabit arid and semi-arid regions of western north America. They prefer open, sparsely vegetated terrain in deserts, sagebrush, dry grasslands and cultivated fields, but they also occur in coniferous forest. For roosting during the day and for breeding they require crevices in cliffs and rock faces, which are not very common within their range. In Canada, the species appears to be restricted to the bottoms of valley at low elevations.

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Biology

Female Pallid Bats reach sexual maturity during their first year, while males reach sexual maturity during their second year. Mating occurs between October and December; the females store the sperm in the uterus until ovulation occurs in the spring. The gestation period is approximately 9 weeks. Litters contain 1 to 3 young. At birth the young are hairless and blind; they are nursed by the mother, to whom they cling when she flies about in search of food. The young are ready to fly on their own when about seven weeks old. Pallid Bats are colonial during the breeding season. In the fall, individuals migrate to secluded shelters to hibernate for the winter. These nocturnal bats have an unusual foraging method: they swoop low over the ground in search of insects and other prey and spend at least some time on the ground pursuing prey such as scorpions. Their predators include owls, hawks, snakes and domestic cats.

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Threats

The main limiting factors for Pallid Bats in Canada seem to be the harsh climate and naturally low availability of adequate habitat. The bats are threatened by continuing habitat loss from a rapidly increasing human population, urban expansion, recreational use, and agriculture (particularly fruit growing). Pesticides are also a threat especially in fruit-growing areas because these bats can be poisoned by contaminated insect prey, particularly agricultural pests upon which they are known to feed.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Pallid Bat is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

The Pallid Bat occurs in Vaseux-Bighorn National Wildlife Area and on First Nations land which are federal lands protected under SARA. It is also protected by the British Columbia Wildlife Act. Under this Act, it is prohibited to kill or poison any native terrestrial mammal without a permit.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Pallid Bat Recovery Team

  • Orville Dyer - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
    Phone: 250-490-8244  Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date Implementation of the Pallid Bat recovery strategy is part of the South Okanagan – Similkameen Conservation Program (SOSCP). A draft of the recovery strategy is being completed. Field research has identified habitats and behaviours that may be important to the conservation of the Pallid Bat. The acquisition of properties by the Nature Trust of British Columbia and the creation of protected areas by the provincial government are securing habitats that may be important to Pallid Bats in Canada. Summary of Research/Monitoring Actions Surveys and radio telemetry studies have improved estimates for the number of Pallid Bats in Canada and have contributed to our understanding of the reproductive biology and habitat use of the species. Habitat mapping is being refined in the Osoyoos area and the understanding of Pallid Bat habitat use is a priority for future research. Summary of Recovery Actions Outreach materials have been developed and provided to the SOSCP stewardship team. Work is continuing in the Osoyoos area to identify habitats important to Pallid Bats and this information is shared with the Stewardship and Acquisition Teams of the SOSCP. URLs Royal BC Museum: Pallid Bat: http://www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/end_species/species/pbat.html BC Lands in Trust: Pallid Bat: http://landtrustalliance.bc.ca/registry/code/species.php?species=34 South Okanagan – Similkameen Conservation Program: http://www.soscp.org/

Hinterland Who's Who: Pallid Bat: http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?pid=1&cid=8&id=63

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

9 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Pallid Bat Antrozous pallidus in Canada (2011-09-09)

    The Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus, Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) is found throughout arid and semi-arid regions of western North America from Mexico to the Okanagan Valley in south-central British Columbia. This distinctive species is a large bat by North American standards, and Canada’s largest, at 12.0 - 24.3 g with a 310 - 370 mm wingspan (Nagorsen and Brigham 1993). It is characterized by large ears and eyes, and short pale fur which fades from yellowish-brown dorsally to a cream colour ventrally. In contrast to most North American bats, A. pallidus typically gleans arthropods from surfaces and often travels to a night roost before feeding, where unpalatable parts can be removed. This species feeds on a range of arthropods, including scorpions (Edwards 1974), beetles and moths (Hermanson and O’Shea 1983) but may consume non-arthropods and has even been reported taking a 7-10 gram pocketmouse (Perognathus flavus) (Bell 1982).

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Pallid Bat (2011-12-08)

    This relatively large but rare bat is restricted to the semi-arid shrub-steppe of the southern Okanagan Valley, BC at the northern limit of its global distribution. Although the number of known individuals has increased since the last assessment, this can be attributed to increased survey effort and the enhanced knowledge of roost sites. Nevertheless, the population is still thought to be small (fewer than 1000 individuals), cliffs available for roosting are very limited and foraging habitat is in continuing decline.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus) in Canada (2017-12-22)

    The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is the competent minister under SARA for the Pallid Bat and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Province of British Columbia and the Pallid Bat Recovery Team, as per section 39(1) of SARA. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)). The Province of British Columbia provided the attached recovery plan for the Pallid Bat (Part 2) as science advice to the jurisdictions responsible for managing the species in British Columbia. It was prepared in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011-09-09)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.

Permits and Related Agreements

Critical Habitat Descriptions in the Canada Gazette

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016-07-06)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update December 2, 2021
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