Can Southeastern Bats and Rock Climbers Share Cliffs?

“Researchers haven’t really studied cliffs as foraging areas for bats,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Susan Loeb. “When so little is known about that habitat, it can be hard to gauge the impacts of different uses or management plans.” Rapid growth in technical climbing has put rock climbers in the same spots as bats. How…  More 

Seminole Bats on the Move

Over the past 48 years, Seminole bats (Lasiurus seminolus) have drastically expanded their range. “The northern edge of their summer range has expanded by 323 miles,” says Roger Perry, a USDA Forest Service research wildlife biologist. “That’s approximately 7 miles a year since 1970.” The western range is also expanding, possibly because forests are replacing…  More 

E-Noses Detect Disease in Plants, Animals & Humans

The fragrance of a rose comes from volatile organic compounds. Living plants, animals, humans, and even inanimate objects emit complex mixtures of VOCs. VOC mixtures are so distinctive that new words are used to describe them: volatilome, breathprint, and smellprint. “There are over 2,000 VOCs in a person’s breath,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Dan…  More 

Hoary Bats Hibernate

Hoary bats are wanderers – they sometimes migrate hundreds of miles and can be found in almost every state in the U.S. Researchers with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station documented hoary bats going into a state of torpor, or hibernation. While it’s not unusual for some species of bat to migrate or…  More 

Home is a Pine Tree

Every summer, female Indiana bats fly through southern Appalachian forests looking for a place to rear their pups. A new study, coauthored by U.S. Forest Service research ecologist, Susan Loeb, suggests that the bats are looking for yellow pine snags. Although Indiana bats sometimes roosted in other trees, they strongly preferred yellow pine snags, especially…  More 

Women in Science: Meet Susan Loeb

The new Women in Science series features women scientists from across the Southern Research Station (SRS)–their education, career paths, challenges, achievements, and inspirations. Meet SRS scientist Susan Loeb, a research ecologist with the Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management Research Unit in Clemson, South Carolina. Loeb earned her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis and has studied…  More 

Winter Prescribed Fire and Litter-Roosting Bats

Rather than hibernating in caves, some bat species in the southeastern U.S. get through the coldest parts of winter by roosting under fallen leaves, twigs, and other dead plant material on the forest floor. Although this leaf litter protects bats from the cold, it could also put them at risk of being injured or killed…  More 

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 

Expanding the Reach of Forest Data and Research with Story Maps

The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) unit is increasing the interactivity and reach of forest science by using FIA and other data to create storymaps on topics that range from southern forest products to white-nose syndrome. Developed on Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform, storymaps are stand-alone web-based resources that…  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