The natural habitat of vampire bats is a warm, tropical or subtropical environment. They can be found in elevations up to 2400 meters and typically live in moderately lighted areas.
Vampire bats live in colonies of approximately 100 bats, though there can be as many as 1,000 or more in a single colony. These colonies live in caves, tree hollows, abandoned buildings, old mine shafts and other dark places. They sleep during the day, hanging upside down at the top of their residence, and come out to hunt at night. Vampire bats are the only mammals that subsist on the warm blood of their prey, typically cattle, horses or other farm animals, and strike from the ground.