Bonnie bonnets in Florida

A phtograph of the face of A beautiful and very rare Florida bonneted bat. Photo by Gary Morse of Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.
A beautiful and very rare Florida bonneted bat. Photo by Gary Morse of Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. Mine was fun because I have a friend visiting, so I’ve been doing a lot of sightseeing. There was a hurricane in the southeastern United States this week. The state of Florida was hit very hard. This week’s blog is dedicated to everyone affected by Hurricane Michael, not only in Florida, but also in Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Virginia.

I did a little bit of research and discovered that Florida’s largest bat is the Florida bonneted bat. I wrote about this bat a couple of years ago, but I thought it was worth refreshing everyone’s memories on this adorable bat. This bat is listed as endangered by the USFWS and is believed to be the rarest bat in the world. The Florida bonneted bat is large with a long tail membrane. It can be 6.5 inches long with a wingspan of 20 inches. Its ears join at the base. The bats’ fur is black, brown, gray, or cinnamon brown.

Not much is known about this bat because it is so rare. They only live in a few counties in south Florida and only a few nursery roosts have been found. Loss of habitat is the Florida bonneted bats’ greatest threat. Habitat loss for this species comes in the form of human destruction of its roosting sites as well as natural disasters such as hurricanes.

If you would like to read more about the Florida bonneted bat, you can find information here.

In other batty news, there will be a bat event at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, VA tonight at 7:00 PM. I am going to try to make it. Mrs. Sturges will definitely be there with some of our bat friends. If you are in the area, please consider stopping by. The bats would love to see you!

We also want to send our thoughts and good wishes to our good friends and fine folks at Southside Virginia Wildlife Center who got flooded and suffered damage to their facility from the remnants of hurricane Michael. –Ed

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