Galapagos Hoary Bat
The largest bat species in the Galápagos
Information about Galapagos Hoary Bat
This is the larger of the two resident Galápagos bat species, and it can be found throughout the Galápagos archipelago, with recorded populations on Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Isabela, Santiago, and Floreana Islands.
Like its fellow resident, the Galápagos Red Bat, the Hoary Bats on the archipelago have not been well studied. The Hoary bat is found throughout North America, where it migrates south for winter. It’s thought that the Galápagos Hoary Bats stay in the islands all year round, where they feed at greater heights than the smaller Red Bats, although they chase similar prey - flies, cicadas, moths and so on - and like most bats they hunt at night using echolocation.
The Hoary Bat is so-called because its long, dense grey-brown fur is tipped with white - making the bat look like it as a covering of frost, or hoar. It’s one of the more attractive bat species, with this dense fur covering giving it an almost “cuddly” appearance!
Hoary bats don’t roost together in colonies, instead they prefer to roost in dense vegetation on their own, hanging upside down under the tree canopies. In the Galápagos they are best seen on the inhabited islands where, like the smaller Red Bat, they will hunt around the streetlights that attract their insect prey. If you are enjoying an overnight stay before or after your Galapatours cruise on either San Cristobal or Santa Cruz you may well have the chance to observe these creatures as you walk in the evenings.
Interesting facts about Galapagos Hoary Bat
Hoary Bats like to roost in trees and wooded areas, especially mangroves
Hoary Bats are occasionally seen taking insects attracted to streetlights in populated areas
The Hoary Bat is so called because of the white tips of its fur which look like it has been covered with hoar frost
Hoary Bats are solitary, and roost individually.
Pictures of Galapagos Hoary Bat
Highlights where the Galapagos Hoary Bat can be seen
The vast majority of Isabela's human population live in Puerto Villamil, which still holds onto its traditional fishing port charm. Indeed many of Galapatours visitors tell us they think it's the prettiest village in the whole archipelago.
The main reason for this is that Villamil had little impact from tourism until the 1990s, the residents quietly making their living from fishing and farming. Then in 1996 a small runway was opened for flights for light aircraft operating inter-island flights. There are now 13 hotels and 18 bars and restaurants in town, compared to only 1 and 2 respectively in 1980! Despite this, the town still enjoys a relaxed and authentic atmosphere.
Villamil enjoys a beautiful long beach, which is picture-book tropics - palm trees line it's bright white coral sand. Behind the beach are several saltwater lagoons which are home to pink flamingos, pintail ducks and several other species. There are several visitor sites that can be the subject of excursions from town on foot, by minibus or panga.
Our trips to spot the Galapagos Hoary Bat