ESA Status: Under Review
The little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) is found throughout North America. This tiny bat is about the same size as a human thumb. Despite its small size, the little brown bat is incredibly important for pest and disease control, as a single little brown bat can eat up to 1,200 insects in an hour including malaria and West Nile virus carrying mosquitos.
Historically abundant, the little brown bat is experiencing a severe population decline. The introduced and highly contagious fungal disease, white-nose syndrome, poses a main threat to little brown bat populations. While white-nose syndrome has not been detected yet in Idaho, wind turbines pose an additional lethal threat to the bats. The overall size of the little brown bat population is relatively unknown, but the high mortality risk from turbines and low little brown bat reproduction rate may compound the effects impacting the bat. The little brown bat is currently Under Review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for listing on the Endangered Species Act (ESA).