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 

SRS Researcher Receives Grant to Study White-Nose Syndrome

White-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed more than six million bats over the past decade. WNS is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd). Studies show that bats eat enough insect pests to save the U.S. corn industry more than $1 billion a year in crop damage and pesticide costs, and more than $3 billion per…  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 

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 

U.S. Forest Service Publishes Plan for North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)

Just published online by the Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), A Plan for the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) provides detailed guidelines for participating in NABat, an international multiagency program created to provide the data needed to make effective decisions about bat populations across the North American continent. Susan Loeb, SRS research ecologist,…  More