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HAWAIIAN HOARY BAT } Lasiurus cinereus semotus

RANGE: Hawaii, Kauai, Maui; rarely seen on Oahu

STATUS: This bat is listed as Endangered under the U.S. and Hawaii Endangered Species Acts.

THREATS: Habitat loss, pesticides, predation, roost disturbance

Considered Hawaii’s only native land mammal, the Hawaiian hoary bat can eat up to 40 percent of its own body weight in a single meal — which usually consists of termites, mosquitoes, moths, beetles, flies, crickets and stink bugs. It has a heavy, brown and gray coat and white-tinged ears that give it its namesake “hoary,” or frosty, look. No one knows exactly how or when this bat colonized Hawaii, considering that the islands first emerged as fiery volcanoes and are some 2,300 miles from the nearest mainland, but scientists suspect bats were blown there by ancient storms or delivered by some other random happenstance. While the Hawaiian subspecies of hoary bat is endangered, hoary bats are quite widespread elsewhere in the world.

Photo by Jack Jeffrey, USFWS