Tri-colored bats & white-nose syndrome

The only mammal that truly flies, bats are celebrated for many reasons. Including their looks. “Tri-colored bats are the cutest little things,” says Susan Loeb of the USDA Forest Service. “They’re tiny – they weigh less than a quarter of an ounce. And each one of their hairs has three colors on it: yellow, black,…  More 

Payments for ecosystem services

People who own forested land may be able to sell the ecosystem services the land provides. Hunting leases are one example. For the years 2010-2019, payments for hunting leases, wildlife viewing fees, and other such services averaged $1.5 billion a year, as USDA Forest Service research economist Greg Frey and his colleagues estimate. Markets for…  More 

Conserving trees for endangered bats

Tricolored bats (Perimyotis subflavus) in South Carolina are threatened by habitat loss and white-nose syndrome. New research shows where they roost during winter, and where they and northern yellow bats (Lasiurus intermedius) roost in summer. Northern yellow bats are considered a species a special concern in South Carolina. USDA Forest Service scientist Susan Loeb contributed…  More 

Bat foraging in winter vs summer

Unlike bats in cold northern regions, bats in the South can be active year-round. However, most studies of bat habitat use have been conducted during the summer, Little is known about winter bat habitat. In summer and winter 2018 and 2019, USDA Forest Service scientist Susan Loeb, Clemson University graduate student Kyle Shute, and his…  More 

Forests for Bats

“Almost all North American bats rely on forests for survival,” says Roger Perry, USDA Forest Service research wildlife biologist. Perry recently led the team that updated Forest Management and Bats, a booklet designed for private landowners and anyone managing forests. It was first published in 2006 by Bat Conservation International, and Daniel Taylor of BCI…  More 

Climate Change and the Future of Southern Wetlands

The Southeast hosts an impressive network of forested wetlands. These wetlands improve water quality, reduce flooding, store excess carbon, and provide important habitat for wildlife. They are also particularly vulnerable to changes in climate and land use. With researchers from North Carolina State University, USDA Forest Service scientist Peter Caldwell designed a model to assess…  More 

Impact of Fire Management on Breeding Birds in the Southern Appalachians

To increase the prescribed “burn window” for reaching restoration goals, land managers are now burning during winter (the dormant season) as well as spring and summer (the growing season) and fall. Management goals often include fuel reduction, oak regeneration, habitat improvement for target wildlife species, and forest restoration to conditions once created by Native Americans…  More 

Silviculture to Restore Southern Fire-Adapted Pines

Native, mature southern pine ecosystems are dwindling on the landscape, and the plants and animals that depend upon them are in trouble as well. “Living and working in Arkansas, I sometimes forget that shortleaf pine as far as the eye can see is uncommon outside of this area,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Jim Guldin.…  More 

Diets of Nestling Red-Headed Woodpeckers

The red-headed woodpecker has enjoyed better days. Over the past five decades, the species has suffered sharp declines in the northern and western parts of its range. While that much is clear, the role of their diets in the declines is not. A recent USDA Forest Service study observed the diets of nestling woodpeckers to…  More 

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