Caving Canada

Nova Scotia Bat Resources

by Max Moseley, 1997

  • In Nova Scotia, bats utilise caves (and abandoned mines) mainly for hibernation. There are no nursery colonies in such sites. However, male Little Brown Bats can be found roosting in some underground sites in mid-summer. Three of the seven species of bat known in the Province are confirmed as using the caves (and mines) for hibernation, and there is an unconfirmed sight record of one other species.

    The confirmed species are:-

    Myotis lucifugus (Le Conte 1831). LITTLE BROWN BAT.

    The most abundant of our bats. The total Nova Scotia population is estimated as perhaps 300,000 (Scott, pers. comm.). The total known wintering population is approximately 15,000. The largest known hibernaculum in the Province is Hayes Cave (South Maitland, Hants County) Most recent count (Taylor 1997) revealed approximately nine thousand individuals. A smaller colony (c.3000 bats) is known from an abandoned gold mine adit (Lake Charlotte Gold Mine). A third major site (Millers Creek Cave) was quarried away in 1981. There are approximately ten other known hibernaculae containing a few hundred or less individuals. This species is usually found in the open, on cave walls and ceilings, and tends to form clusters of individuals.

    Myotis septentrionalis (Trouessart 1897). NORTHERN LONG-EARED BAT.

    Uncommon, though present in small numbers in most hibernaculae. A hibernating colony (approximately 200 bats) has been found in one cave site : Cave-of-the- Bats (Dutch Settlement, Halifax County) (Taylor 1997). This species often squeezes into narrow crevices, and is solitary, or forms small clusters. Note: this species was formerly considered to be Keen's Myotis, but the name M.keenii is now restricted to a species that is only found in western North America.

    Pipistrellus subfiavus (F. Cuvier 1832) EASTERN PIPISTRELLE.

    Supposedly rare (only reported in NS in 1965) , but a few specimens are present at most sites. Individuals I have seen have been in the open, on the cave wall or ceiling, but in small side passages rather than the main passages favoured by Myotis lucifugus. Solitary.

    There is also a fairly reliable sight record (Taylor 1997) of:-

    Eptesicus fuscus (Palisot de Beauvois 1796). BIG BROWN BAT.

    Three individuals, probably of this species, observed in Hayes Cave (Taylor 1997). It hibernates in buildings as well as in underground sites (Scott, pers. comm.)

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  • This site created Sept '95,
    Updated .