ARDEN HILLS, Minn. (KMSP) - The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Monday the discovery of a bat species new to Minnesota called the evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis).
The bat was caught in early July at the Minnesota Army National Guard’s training site in Arden Hills when researchers from the DNR and Central Lakes College were conducting a study on the state’s forest bats.
Mammal species new to the state are "extremely rare," with the most recent being a shrew in 1991, the DNR said. This is the first new bat species to be discovered in Minnesota in more than a century.
“It’s very exciting to discover a new bat species in the state,” said DNR Endangered Species Coordinator Rich Baker. “The evening bat’s historic range is limited to central Iowa. As our project proceeds, we’ll be keeping an eye out for more evening bats. For now, we don’t know if this was an isolated individual blown north in a storm, or if this species has indeed expanded its range into Minnesota.”
The DNR received confirmation from a national bat genetics lab in Arizona that it was indeed an evening bat discovered in Arden Hills.