Bats in New Mexico

There are 29 species of bats native to New Mexico. They can be found everywhere throughout the state except for the parts of the desert without cover. The most common of them, i.e., the ones people are most likely to run into, include the Mexican Free-tailed Bat, the Hoary Bat, and the Big Brown Bat.

The Western Mastiff Bat is the largest bat in New Mexico, while the Canyon Bat is the tiniest among them.

Bats in New Mexico (NM)

Different Types of Bats in New Mexico

Free-tailed Bats (Molossidae)

  • Big Free-tailed Bat
  • Mexican Free-tailed Bat
  • Pocketed Free-tailed Bat
  • Western Mastiff Bat

New World Leaf-nosed Bats (Phyllostomidae)

  • Mexican Long-nosed Bat
  • Mexican Long-tongued Bat
  • Southern Long-nosed Bat

Vesper Bats (Vespertilionidae)

  • Allen’s Big-eared Bat
  • Arizona Myotis
  • Big Brown Bat
  • California Myotis
  • Canyon Bat
  • Cave Myotis
  • Eastern Red Bat
  • Fringed Myotis
  • Hoary Bat
  • Little Brown Bat
  • Long-eared Myotis
  • Long-legged Myotis
  • Pallid Bat
  • Silver-haired Bat
  • Southwestern Myotis
  • Spotted Bat
  • Townsend’s Big-eared Bat
  • Tricolored Bat
  • Western Red Bat
  • Western Small-footed Myotis
  • Western Yellow Bat
  • Yuma Myotis

Places To Go Bat Watching in New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns is home to over 17 different species of bats in New Mexico, with a large colony of Mexican Free-tailed Bats being a huge attraction. Other notable bats living here include the Cave Myotis and the Fringed Myotis.

The Mexican Free-tailed bat can also be seen in Jornada Bat Caves and the lava tube caves of El Malpais. 


1. Are there any endangered bats in New Mexico?

While not classified as endangered, the Southern Long-nosed Bat and the Mexican Long-nosed Bat are protected under federal and state statutes. This is because they can only be found in the southwest corner of New Mexico.

2. Do bats living in New Mexico hibernate or migrate in the winter?

More than half of all the bats living in New Mexico are known to hibernate when winter arrives. But some, like the Hoary Bat and the Eastern Red Bat, tend to migrate south when it gets colder.

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