A downtown Seattle sidewalk is the last place you'd expect to find a bat, let alone the spotted variety. But that is precisely where this Spotted Bat was found one day last fall. While bats are not uncommon in cities, the Spotted Bat (Euderma maculatum) is rarely seen on the west side of the Cascades, and is even difficult to find on the east side. Because she was found in such an unusual location, this bat was taken to PAWS Wildlife Center for a check-up.
After conferring with other local experts, the best guess was that she stowed away in the cargo of a truck traveling from the east side of the mountains. The bat had a bruise on her wing, but was able to fly well. She voraciously gobbled mealworms that PAWS' wildlife rehabilitators offered her, and was otherwise healthy.
After just a few days, the rehabilitation team, in consultation with state wildlife biologists, decided to release the bat east of the Cascades at Moses Coulee. A known population of this elusive bat species resides there and the habitat is ideal. PAWS' wildlife veterinarian drove her over the mountains, and at dusk placed her in a rock crevice (the Spotted Bat's preferred roost). She crawled up into the crevice and disappeared out of sight.