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Fish-eating Bat
(Myotis vivesi) The endangered Fish-eating Bat is one of the only bats known to feed on fish.

It is found in the warm climate of northwestern Mexico along the Gulf of California, most notably on San Pedro Mártir Island. The rocky cliffs and isolation of San Pedro Mártir offer ideal habitat for the Fish-eating Bat.

Measuring a mere 3 inches in length with a 2-inch tail, this brown, furry bat lives on or near the shoreline where it can easily find fish. Sea caves, rock piles, and cliffs are prime roosting space for Fish-eating Bats. They often roost with Black and Least Storm-petrels.

Fish-eating Bats are extremely precise hunters. They hunt at night and are able to detect small ripples on the water’s surface, which show them where fish are swimming. Using their long feet and large toes, they gracefully snatch small fish swimming close to the surface.  Fish-eating Bats are able to catch and eat approximately 30 fish each night.

On San Pedro Mártir Island, these bats have often roosted in areas that are accessible to non-native invasive rats, which prey upon the defenseless bats and prevent them from breeding. In 2007, Conservación de Islas successfully removed invasive rats from the island, protecting the San Pedro Mártir’s bat population and other important native species on the island. Since rats were removed, monitoring data has shown many endemic species on San Pedro Mártir increasing in abundance and distribution. Conservación de Islas biologists will continue to visit San Pedro Mártir every three months to continue monitoring the island’s recovery. The next trip is scheduled for July 2009.

Learn about more extraordinary endangered species we protected on San Pedro Mártir

Thumbnail photo courtesy of: Glenn and Martha Vargas (c) California Academy of Science

Fish-eating Bat photo: (c) Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org

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