Bats in Iowa

Iowa has 9 native species of bats. The most common are the Big Brown Bat and the Little Brown Bat. Out of all of them, the Hoary Bat is the largest with a 16-inch wingspan, while the smallest would be the Tricolored Bat, whose wingspan can be as small as 7 inches.

Bats in Iowa (IA)

Different Types of Bats in Iowa

Vesper Bats (Vespertilionidae)

Places To Go Bat Watching in Iowa

Starr’s Cave is well known for being a suitable location for bats to roost. However, people are not allowed to enter between October and May. This is because these months coincide with the hibernation period of several bats like the Big Brown Bat, the Indiana Bat, and the Little Brown Bat, and people entering the cave would end up disturbing them.


1. Is it illegal to kill bats in Iowa?

The state has laws in place that prohibit the killing of any species of bat in Iowa.

2. Are bats endangered in Iowa?

Two of the nine bats in Iowa are federally endangered. These are the Northern Long-eared Myotis and the Indiana Bat.

3. Do bats in Iowa migrate or hibernate?

The Eastern Red Bat, the Hoary Bat, the Evening Bat, and the Silver-haired Bat are known to migrate in spring and fall. The other species will hibernate when it gets cold during winter in caves in southern and eastern Iowa.

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