The endangered gray bat lives in caves in the southeastern United States. The commercialization of caves has led to human disturbance during crucial times for the bats, such as hibernation or when rearing young. In addition, flooding, both natural and due to reservoir building, has reduced the number of caves available. The use of pesticides and other poisons also has reduced the population.
The only mammal capable of true flight, bats are an important part of their environments. They provide pollination for night-blooming plants, seed dispersal, and insect control, especially of mosquito populations.