By MDC | November 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: November 2023

Got a question for Ask MDC? Send it to or call 573-522-4115, ext. 3848.

Q: Are red bats rare in Missouri?

Eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis) are not rare in Missouri. One of 14 species of bats that occur in the state, eastern red bats are present in Missouri year-round. Like birds, they migrate north in the spring and summer and south in the winter. They hibernate in leaf litter and hollow trees of southfacing slopes in the southern half of Missouri during the winter.

They maintain body temperatures just above freezing and cannot withstand prolonged periods of below-freezing temperatures. By spring, many have depleted fat reserves and lost a quarter of their pre-hibernation weight. Because of their migratory nature, they’re not thought to spend much time in caves at all.

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Q: We found a baby snapping turtle. What should we do?

The best thing to do is leave this turtle where you found it. Snapping turtles have developed adaptations to survive Missouri’s cold winter temperatures. They overwinter in water by burying themselves into the mud bottom, underneath logs and sticks, and within overhanging banks of ponds, lakes, swamps, marshes, or river backwaters.

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale