Conservation

Are You a Caver?

We encourage you to adhere to cave closures and advisories, as specified by state and federal agencies.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service has created a page for Cavers here. If you do enter WNS-affected caves, please decontaminate your gear! Check out this report from US Forest Service on the Effects of Pathogen Decontamination on the Strength of Climbing Rope and Harness Equipment. Also, see the White Nose Syndrome page maintained by the National Speleological Society for more information pertinent to cavers.

Got Bats in Your Building?

Follow this link for a nice step-by-step guide to managing bats in buildings. The pamphlet was prepared by the British Columbia Community Bat Project.

 

Build a Bat House

The image below contains information on how to build your own bat house, where to buy a bat house and also where the house should be placed for best use.

Bat House

Help Protect a Rare Bat

The Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) is a federally endangered bat known to hibernate in only four states (KY, NC, VA, and WV). Adult females of this species form maternity colonies in caves in summer, where each adult gives birth to a single pup that it rears to maturity. In Spring 2013, 19 adult female Virginia big-eared bats were tracked from their winter hibernation sites on Grandfather Mountain, NC to summer maternity roosts ~14 km away at the base of Beech Mountain, NC. This is the first time that significant summer maternity roosts have been found for this bat species in the mountains of North Carolina. Most of the summer roosts found have been on private land, including one in an unfinished house in a development. It is critical to protect the land where the bats roost in order to sustain the North Carolina population of this species. Bats in this colony will be faithful to these roosts year after year, but are likely to abandon the roosts if there is too much disturbance nearby. We are collaborating with NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, NC Department of Transportation, Blue Ridge Land Conservancy, and Copperhead Consulting to raise funds to purchase the private land parcels where the bats roost in summer.

If you would like to make a donation towards this effort or for more information on this research, please contact Joy O’Keefe (joy.okeefe@indstate.edu) or Joey Weber (joey.weber@indstate.edu).

Virginia big-eared bats in western North Carolina.

Virginia big-eared bats in western North Carolina.

 

 

 

More Information and Other Bat Conservation Organizations:

White-nose Syndrome.org – A coordinated response to the devastating bat disease.

Organization for Bat Conservation – A nonprofit environmental education organization dedicated to inspiring people to protect bats and conserve biodiversity. Since 1992, their mission has been to teach people about the importance of bats and be a leader in bat conservation.

Bat Conservation International – Their mission is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet.

Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative – An alliance of state and federal agencies, private industry, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations that cooperates to develop solutions to minimize or, where possible, prevent mortality of bats at wind power turbines.