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The Florida bonneted bat is Florida's largest and rarest bat and may be one of the most critically endangered mammals in North America. Since 2003, surveys have documented this bat in only seven Florida counties. Biologists estimate that the entire population of Florida bonneted bats may be less than a few hundred individuals and expect continued declines. This species is vulnerable to a wide variety of threats, including urbanization and habitat loss, small population size, restricted range, low fecundity and relative isolation. In October 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the Florida bonneted bat as Endangered.
With a wingspan of up to 18 3/4 inches and weight of 37-47g, it is about 70 percent bigger than the Mexican free-tailed bat. Florida bonneted bats (formerly known as Wagner's mastiff bats) inhabit semitropical forests and have been documented roosting singly or in small colonies in a variety of locations, including limestone outcroppings, tree hollows, bat houses, chimneys and in Spanish tile roofs. Today, however, this bat is only known to occupy a few bat houses.