Image Source: Wikimedia Commons. By: Filipe Lopes.

This week’s Creature Feature is about an animal that people will love, hate, or fear. It’s the only mammal endemic to the Azores islands and is an endangered species.

The Azores Noctule is a type of bat (and also known as the Azorean Bat). It can be found on most of the Azores islands, though it is extremely rare on a few of them. These bats are unique because they are the only known species of bat in the world that hunts insects mainly during the day—most others will hunt at night.

These furry fliers prefer to roost in buildings, caves, or hollowed-out trees. Their total population is estimated to be between 2,000 and 5,000, but since they are only found on the Azores, and their numbers are on the decline, things aren’t looking good for them at the moment.

Humans pose the biggest threat to the Azores Noctule. The IUCN Red List cites “human persecution and destruction of roost sites” as the main threats. In addition to that, pollution, habitat loss, and the use of pesticides are also forcing these bats on their way out.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many links available for the Azorean Bat. However, you can check out the links listed below:

Bat Conservation International
Bat Evolution Linked to Warming
David’s Bat Blog
EuroBats

By Heidi Marshall