Quebec’s bat species are classified into two groups based on the way in which they survive winter. Five Quebec species belong to the cavernicolous, or cave-dwelling, group (resident species), while the other three species belong to the migratory group.

 Cave dwellers

Cave-dwelling bats are those that inhabit caverns and abandoned mines for at least part of each year. Most of these bats hibernate in caves and inhabit other locations such as trees or man-made structures in the summer.

The cave-dwelling species that are found in Quebec are the tri-coloured bat (Perimyotis subflavus), the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), the northern long-eared myotis (Myotis septentrionalis), and the eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii). Apart from the little brown bat that can reside in a variety of habitats, these species live in sparsely forested areas and in pastures near water sources. More specifically, the northern long-eared myotis occupies boreal forests, while the eastern small-footed bat favours mountainous regions. With the exception of the northern long-eared myotis, all of these species can also be found in urban areas.

Vespertilion brun
Credit: Yves Déry. Little brown bat.

Both the tri-coloured bat and the eastern small-footed bat appear in the list of species designated as threatened or vulnerable by the Quebec Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species. In 2014, the little brown bat, the northern long-eared myotis, and the tri-coloured bat were assessed by the COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) and added to the “Endangered Species” list compiled under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

Daniel Jauvin
Credit: Daniel Jauvin. Big brown bat.


This group includes bats that migrate for the winter. They are able to travel over 500 km per day. In the fall, they travel through the U.S.A. down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Quebec’s migratory species are the red bat (Lasiurus borealis), the silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans), and the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus). They generally inhabit forested areas near clearings and water sources. The red bat can also be spotted in urban areas.

SteveTroletti_Chauve-souris cendrée
Credit: Steve Troletti. Hoary bat

All three species are listed as threatened or vulnerable by the Quebec Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species.


Gouvernement du Canada. 2017.  (Page consultée le 07-12-17). Registre public des espèces en péril. (En ligne) http://www.registrelepsararegistry.gc.ca/sar/index/

Fenton, M. Brock. 2001. Bats, revised edition. Checkmark Books. 2e edition. New-York. 224p.

Harvey, Michael J., J. Scott Altenbach et Troy L. Best. 2011. Bats of the United-States and Canada. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore. 202p.

Ministère de la Forêt de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP). 2017. (Page consultée le 02/12/17). Liste des espèces désignées menacées ou vulnérables au Québec. (En ligne). http://www3.mffp.gouv.qc.ca/faune/especes/menacees/liste.asp#susceptibles

Prescott, Jacques et Pierre Richard. 2013. Mammifères du Québec et de l’est du Canada. Édition Michel Quintin. 3e édition. Waterloo. 479p.