Small mammals include animals such as chipmunks, squirrels, mice, voles, lemmings, and bats to name a few. Small mammals that can be hunted include snowshoe hare, gray squirrel, woodchuck, porcupine, and red squirrel.
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Bats play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. A recent study published in Science estimates that insect-eating bats provide a significant pest-control service, saving the U.S. agricultural industry at least $3 billion a year. For example the 1 million little brown bats that have already died equates to between 660 and 1320 metric tons of insects that are not being eaten each year.
There are eight bat species in Maine. Some bat species hibernate in Maine during the winter, called hibernating bats, and other bat species migrate south for the winter, called tree bats. The eight bat species present in Maine are:
- Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
- Little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus)
- Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis)
- Eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii)
- Tri-colored bat (Pipistrellus subflavus)
- Hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus)
- Silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
- Eastern Red bat (Lasiurus borealis)
A disease called White-nose syndrome (WNS) is causing the decline of several hibernating bat species in Northeast North America, including in Maine. Learn more about the disease and WNS in Maine.