Habitat

They occur in a wide range of habitats and are common in natural, rural, and urban areas. They reach their greatest abundance in arid and semi-arid habitats. Natural roosting sites include caves, rock crevices, tree cavities, bark, rotting logs, foliage, and holes in the ground (Cheiromeles). These bats also commonly roost in human-made structures, including

Close-up of a Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) foot, clinging onto tree bark. (Photo by R. Wayne Van Devender. Reproduced by permission.)

A Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) rests on a tree in Cochise County, Arizona, USA. (Photo by John Hoffman. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Close-up of a Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) foot, clinging onto tree bark. (Photo by R. Wayne Van Devender. Reproduced by permission.)

A Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) rests on a tree in Cochise County, Arizona, USA. (Photo by John Hoffman. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

A Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) (Photo by Animals Animals ©C. W. Schwartz. Reproduced by permission.)

temperate, seasonal habitats are known to engage in longdistance, annual migrations that exceed 800 mi (1,300 km). However, other populations of the same species are known to remain in place or to engage only in short-distance seasonal movements and to utilize torpor to survive cold temperatures during relatively mild winters. Most molossids are colonial, with colony sizes typically reported as a few tens to a few hundreds of individuals. There are some reports of solitary bats, and numerous accounts of colonies into the thousands of bats. Brazilian free-tailed bats in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico form cave colonies of tens of millions of bats, which are the largest known aggregations of mammals. The behavior of this large family of bats is characterized by diversity and plasticity.

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