Bats in South Carolina - Northern Long-eared Bat
Northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis) are known from the mountain region of three counties in northwestern South Carolina: Oconee, Pickens and Greenville. The earliest summer record dates back to 1931 from Rocky Bottom in Pickens County. Mist net and harp trap sampling records from the late 1980’s through the 1990's confirmed the presence of northern long-eared bats in the summer and fall throughout the mountains of South Carolina. The habitat at capture sites varied and included mature mixed hardwood forest, mature Virginia pine stands, hemlock forest, and mixed pine-hardwood less than 15 years old. One lactating female roosted under exfoliating bark of a dead loblolly pine on Oconee State Park; the female had been captured nearby on the Sumter National Forest on July 2, 1998. The species was the most frequently captured Myotis species in the mountains.
Winter northern long-eared bat records are infrequent. When present in hibernacula, their numbers range from 24 (1995 survey of a Pickens County hibernaculum) to single records from tunnels in Oconee County.
In summer 2016, there were no reported NLEB captures in South Carolina. However two coastal captures were reported in the fall of 2016 in Beaufort County. This represents a change in the known distribution for NLEBs. Both animals appeared healthy.
Reminder about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 4(d) rule temporary exemptions. The deadline for USFWS to provide the final 4(d) rule exemptions is January 2016.