Bats in Tennessee

15 species of bats are native to Tennessee. The most common is the Little Brown Bat, though its numbers have fallen in recent years. The largest bat in the state based on wingspan is the Hoary Bat, while the Tricolored Bat is the smallest.

Bats in Tennessee (TN)

Different Types of Bats in Tennessee

Free-tailed Bats (Molossidae)

  • Mexican Free-tailed Bat

Vesper Bats (Vespertilionidae)

  • Big Brown Bat
  • Eastern Red Bat
  • Eastern Small-footed Myotis
  • Evening Bat
  • Gray Bat
  • Hoary Bat
  • Indiana Bat
  • Little Brown Bat
  • Northern Long-eared Bat
  • Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat
  • Seminole Bat
  • Silver-haired Bat
  • Southeastern Myotis
  • Tricolored Bat

Places To Go Bat Watching in Tennessee

Hubbard’s Cave is a noteworthy location to see bats as two federally endangered species – the Gray Bat and the Indiana Bat – can be found here. Hubbard’s Cave is, in fact, home to a colony of over 100,000 Gray Bats.

Nickajack Cave is also home to a colony of Gray Bats, but to prevent humans from disturbing them, it is gated off with the help of grills. However, it is still possible to see them fly over water at dusk, standing on a boardwalk, or rowing in a canoe.


1. Are bats protected in Tennessee?

Not only are bats protected in Tennessee, but between May 1st and August 1st, displacement from their roosting places by external forces is not legal. This period is referred to as a “blackout period.”

2. Are there endangered bats in Tennessee?

Yes, the Indiana and Gray Bats – considered endangered on the federal level – can be found in Tennessee.

Subscribe our newsletter

Enter your email here to stay updated with the animal kingdom