Managing Forests to Conserve Bat Populations Affected by White-Nose Syndrome

In March 2016, scientists found bats infected with white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that’s killed millions of North American bats across the eastern United States, in Washington state, over 1,000 miles from the nearest confirmed infection site in eastern Oklahoma. Because most bat species in the U.S. eat phenomenal numbers of insects, bats are important to agriculture and to forests and…  More 

Fishing for Clues to Mussel Decline in Horse Lick Creek

How do U.S. Forest Service research scientists take their experiments from the laboratory to the field? For a first-hand look at the field sampling and data collection, collaboration with Forest Service and university partners, and extensive planning that happens behind the scenes, I spent a day with the Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Center for…  More 

Effects of Coyote Predation on Deer Hunting in South Carolina

Deer hunting is a very popular activity in South Carolina, generating about $200 million in direct retail sales annually. The 2015 Deer Hunter Survey published in late May by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) showed that the statewide harvest of deer in 2015 decreased about 4 percent from the previous year, which…  More 

In Arkansas, Fall Tree Roosts Help Male Indiana Bats Survive Hibernation

“Two resources are most important to bats in the eastern U.S.,” says U.S. Forest Service biologist Roger Perry. “Roosts – places they can safely spend daylight hours – and insects for food.” Because roosts also allow bats to sink into torpor, a state of lowered metabolism and energy usage, roosts may be as important for…  More 

Mystery Crayfish Highlights Conservation Challenges

On a recent sampling trip to the Bankhead National Forest in northwest Alabama a team led by U.S. Forest Service scientist Susie Adams scooped up a crayfish from a river flowing into the Lewis Smith Reservoir. The crayfish had a distinctive black, orange, and white color pattern on the tips of its largest claws, which quickly…  More 

Life in a Treehouse: How Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bats Choose their Roosts

In the Coastal Plain of South Carolina, Rafinesque’s big-eared bats often roost in tree hollows throughout the year. “Bats spend a good portion of their lives in roosts,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Susan Loeb. “Roosts protect bats from predators, and are where bats interact socially, mate, and raise young.” Rafinesque’s big-eared bats are declining…  More 

Managing for Natural Disturbances in Central Hardwood Forests

A new book edited by U.S. Forest Service researcher Katie Greenberg and Western Carolina University professor Beverly Collins offers detailed science-based information about the history of natural disturbances in the Central Hardwood Region of the U.S., and provides insight for managers and ecologists on managing the area’s forests. Published by Springer, Natural Disturbances and Historic Range of…  More 

Life after Hemlock: Restoring Riparian Forests in the Southern Appalachians

In the last decade, the hemlock woolly adelgid, a tiny sap-sucking insect native to Japan, has swept through southern Appalachian forests, leaving dead hemlocks in its wake. Hemlock branches no longer shade streams or tower over shrubs, and their loss has affected streamside, or riparian, forests. “Without hemlock, more sunlight reaches the forest floor,” says U.S.…  More 

American Eels in the Mountain Streams of Virginia?

In early spring, somewhere deep in the Atlantic Ocean, an amazing fish begins a journey that may bring it to a river or stream near you within a few short years. Each spring American eels hatch from eggs laid deep in the Sargasso Sea, a broad area of the Atlantic east of the Bahamas and…  More 

An Early Warning System for Bats in North America

This week the U.S. Forest Service is participating in the celebration of Bat Week, an international effort to bring attention to the role of bats in nature and the threats they face across the world. Bats play essential roles in the health of both the environment and the economy, pollinating plants, dispersing seeds – and…  More