A campaign to inspire Americans to help protect bats,
National Bat Week, runs Oct. 24 - Oct. 31. This initiative is important to Colorado, home of 18 species of bats, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) monitors bat populations statewide as part of a nationwide effort to detect changes from threats like White-nose Syndrome (WNS) and wind energy development.
“Bats are an important yet under-appreciated part of our world,” said CPW Species Conservation Coordinator, Tina Jackson. “This threat is something we all should be worried about.”
WNS, which is caused by a fungus known as Pseudogymnoascus destructans, is responsible for large scale bat die-offs in the Eastern United States, in some cases killing 100% of the bats in a site. WNS is named for the white powder seen on the nose, ears, and wings of infected bats.
WNS has not been found in Colorado, however since first documented in a New York cave in 2007, WNS has spread to 26 states and 5 Canadian provinces. Some signs of WNS in bat populations are:
In addition to reporting bat activity to CPW, Bat Week enthusiasts are encouraged to:
Follow the Save the Bats Campaign, go to the
Save the Bats Facebook page and become part of the movement!
Learn by Participating in a Distance Learning Adventure: BatsLIVE – An online, one-stop resource for learning about bats and gaining skills to help others become bat champions. You will find lesson plans, exciting recorded webcasts and webinars, links to great bat partners, and multimedia tools that are all focused on bats!
Watch the “Battle for Bats” Film. This cornerstone of the White-nose Syndrome (WNS) communication effort focuses on bats as important and fascinating animals, the reality that we are rapidly losing millions of our bats to WNS, information on how state and federal agencies and non-profits are working together to fight this devastating disease, and the important role that the public can play in bat conservation. The video is available in both English and Spanish (La Batalla por los Murcielagos: Sobrevivir al Sindrome de la Nariz Blanca).