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Pallid Bat
Antrozous pallidus

Pallid Bat
Pallid Bat

    Land Tenure - Pallid Bat Habitat
  • Total length: 11.5 cm; wingspan: 35.0 cm.
  • Large ears: 2.6-3.3 cm long.
  • Weight: 17 grams.
  • Dorsal fur is pale yellow with a tinge of brown, while the underside fur is creamy white.
  • Pale, broad ears which extend well beyond the ears when pushed forward.
  • The snout is square with a shallow ridge on top and a scroll-shaped end.


British Columbia Red List
Canada: Vulnerable

Special Significance

The Pallid Bat is one of the rarest mammals in British Columbia. While this species appears to be confined to the southern Okanagan Valley, more surveys are required to delimit its range in British Columbia. With such a small range in Canada, this species may be subject to extirpation (no longer exist in Canada) if environmental conditions change. It is the second largest bat in British Columbia and is unique in that it catches large ground-dwelling insects by listening for their rustling sounds and pouncing on them from out of the air. Conservation of known roosting sites, such as rock crevices and ponderosa pine trees, as well as protection of low elevation shrub-grasslands, are important factors in helping to ensure the continued survival of the Pallid Bat.


  • In British Columbia, occur in the South Okanagan Valley as far north as Okanagan Falls; may also occur in the Similkameen Valley, Cariboo and Boundary regions.
  • Restricted to low elevations (300 to 490 metres).
  • Found nowhere else in Canada.


  • Pallid Bats occur in arid desert areas, often near rocky outcrops and water.
  • In the Okanagan Valley, these bats are restricted to low elevation grasslands and ponderosa pine forests in the vicinity of cliff faces.
  • Night roosts are in close proximity to foraging areas; prefer live ponderosa pines, rock shelters, open buildings, porches, bridges, shallow caves, mines and other human-made structures.
  • Day roosts include rock crevices in steep cliffs, stone piles, man-made structures and trees.
  • Maternity colonies occur in horizontal rock crevices.
  • Forage over tracts of open grassland, sparsely covered with shrubs and often bordered by ponderosa pines; gravel roads may also provide foraging corridors.
  • Nothing is known about migration or possible hibernation of British Columbia population; hibernation sites may include buildings, rock crevices, mine tunnels and caves.


  • Mating occurs from October to December; the gestation period is about nine weeks.
  • Young are born in late May to mid-July.
  • Unlike most bat species, the Pallid Bat commonly bears two young; may only have one young per litter in British Columbia as they are at the northern limit of their range.
  • Young bats grow rapidly; they are capable of flight at 4 to 5 weeks of age and attain adult size at eight weeks.

Food Habits

  • Pallid Bats are late feeders, leaving day roosts about 45 minutes after sunset.
  • Usually glean prey from the ground and the foliage of trees and shrubs; occasionally pursue insects in the air using echolocation.
  • Consume large invertebrates including beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, moths and lacewings; there are records of this bat preying on small lizards and a rodent.
  • While hunting, Pallid Bats fly slowly, close to the ground, with rhythmic dips and rises; while hunting prey on the ground it listens for their rustling sounds.

Interesting Facts

  • After feeding, Pallid Bats cluster together at the night roost and become torpid (lower their body temperature and metabolic rate) for several hours if temperatures are cool.
  • A social bat, this species emits a variety of vocalizations for communicating in a colony; many calls are audible to the human ear.
  • Produce a musky skunk-like odour from glands on the muzzle which may be a defensive mechanism for repelling predators.


  • Extensive land development in the Okanagan has eliminated or fragmented their habitat (low elevation ponderosa pine forest, grasslands and riparian areas).
  • Heavy grazing may reduce availability of ground-dwelling insects.
  • Very sensitive to human disturbance.
  • Susceptible to cat predation.

Management Considerations

  • Avoid the use of pesticides, particularly near wetlands and riparian areas.
  • Protect known roosting sites from disturbance.
  • Preserve old mine shafts, but erect gates to prevent human access to caves and mine shafts.
  • Maintain water levels in ponds as sources of drinking water and foraging areas.
  • Discourage, free-roaming domestic cats, especially near potential bat habitat.


1. Nagorsen, D.W. and R.M. Brigham. 1993. Bats of British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook, Victoria, British Columbia
2. Holroyd, S.L., R.M.R. Barclay, L.M. Merk and R.M. Brigham. 1994. A survey of the bat fauna of the dry interior of British Columbia. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Lands and Parks. Victoria, British Columbia.


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