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 

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 U.S. 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 story maps on topics that range from southern forest products to white-nose syndrome. Developed on Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform, story maps are stand-alone web-based…  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 

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 

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 

Susan Loeb Awarded Grant for Research Related to White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

On September 29, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced $2.5 million in grants for research, management, and communication projects related to white-nose syndrome, the fungal disease that’s killed millions of North American bats since 2007, when it was first documented. White-nose syndrome is caused by a cold-loving fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), that infects hibernating…  More 

Burning the Leafy Blanket: 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