Bats in Virginia

17 species of bats are native to the state of Virginia. Among these, the Virginia Big-eared bat – a subspecies of the Townsend’s Big-eared Bat – is quite noteworthy. Not only are there about 20,000 left, but in 2005, the Virginia Big-eared Bat was named the state mammal of Virginia based on its name and low population numbers. With its population having risen in recent years, the efforts have been deemed to have been successful.

Bats in Virginia (VI)

Different Types of Bats in Virginia

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
  • Northern Yellow Bat
  • Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat
  • Seminole Bat
  • Silver-haired Bat
  • Southeastern Myotis
  • Tricolored Bat
  • Virginia Big-eared Bat

Places To Go Bat Watching in Virginia

Some noteworthy places to see bats in Virginia include Natural Bridge Caverns and Endless Caverns.


1. Are bats protected in Virginia?

Yes, three bat species are under federal protection in Virginia. These are the Gray Bat, the Virginia Big-eared Bat, and the Indiana Bat. It is illegal to maim, harm, harass, or kill any of these species, which is punishable by law.

2. Do bats hibernate or migrate in Virginia when winter arrives?

Bats that generally live in trees, like the Hoary Bat, will migrate away to warmer locations down south, like Mexico. On the other hand, cave bats like the Big Brown Bat will hibernate in either the same caves they roost in or will move to a new location for the same reason. This new location can be another cave, a mine, or an abandoned building.

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