Bats are among the most important yet underrated animals in the world. Despite the fact that almost a quarter of all known mammal species are bats, most people know very little about them. Bats are vital for pollination and seed-dispersal in the world's tropical rainforests, and are the world's primary predators of flying insect pests, but are being killed indiscriminately or chased out of the few safe habitats left to them, because of misinformation and ignorance. Here in San Diego County we are fortunate to have 22 species of bats in residence. Below is a list of our nocturnal neighbors. Click on the names to see a photo and information on each local species. To read interesting facts about these intelligent little mammals and see a few cute photos of non-native bats, click on the Amazing Bat Facts page. If you want to protect bats, visit Bat Conservation International to learn how you can help!

Order: Chiroptera

Leaf-nosed Bats: Family Phyllostomidae

Antrozous pallidus
"Binky," a pallid bat pup
Photo courtesy of Jan Vanatta
California Bat Conservation Fund

Plain-nosed Bats: Family Vespertilionidae

Lasiurus cinereus
"Ursula," a hoary bat
Photo courtesy of Dick Wilkins

Free-tailed Bats: Family Molossidae

Tadarida brasilensis
"Omar," a Mexican free-tailed bat
Photo courtesy of Cindy Myers,
Project Wildlife

Bats are wild animals and can bite in self-defense. Any wild animals that are easily approached may be sick and should be avoided. NEVER USE YOUR BARE HANDS to pick up or touch a bat. If you find an injured bat, gently scoop the animal into a small container (like a shoe box) using a cloth or piece of paper. Put a soft cloth into the box to give the bat something to hang onto and hide behind. Cover the box and place it where it cannot be disturbed by pets or children. Go to Bat World Sanctuary's Local Rescue Page to find a volunteer bat worker/rehabilitator in your area. A lot of good information on safely helping injured or orphaned bats found indoors or out can be found at the Bat World website. If you find bats or other types of injured or orphaned wildlife in San Diego County, contact Project Wildlife for assistance.

All the photos on this page and its linked pages are used here with the express permission of the photographers, and may not be reused for any other purpose. To view other great photos or get more detailed information about U.S. bat species by state, visit this link to Bat Conservation International.

Other Fun & Interesting Links
Bat Conservation International Project Wildlife of San Diego
The Lubee Bat Conservancy USGS Bat Research in California
The San Diego Audubon Society USGS Reptile/Amphibian Field Guide
Jim Buzbee's Bat Box The National Wildlife Federation
The Living Coast Discovery Center San Diego Natural History Museum
Bat World Sanctuary California Native Plant Society
The Sierra Club - San Diego The Firefly Forest's Nectar Bats
The Nature Conservancy Bat Resource For Schools

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