Evaluating the status and distributions of bats in WNS-free areas using standardized acoustic monitoring data from the North American Bat Monitoring Program (RWO118)
August 2018 - August 2020
- U.S. Geological Survey-SSP
White-nose syndrome has decimated hibernating bat populations across North America since it emerged 10 years ago in New York. The North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) was established to assess the true ecological impacts of these unprecedented declines, providing standardized monitoring protocols and a continental-scale collaborative framework to evaluate the status and distributions of bat species. After four years of conducting the survey an assessment to date of species distribution and changes therein, and distribution of results to partners, is needed. Furthermore, an assessment of the monitoring design and sampling methods is also needed, to inform the survey moving forward. The project is a collaboration among the USGS-COCFWRU, the USGS Fort Collins Science Center, the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center, the NPS Upper Columbia Basin Network, and numerous partners throughout the range of the NABat monitoring program. Maps of distribution and status of bat populations to date will provide a baseline for comparison with further encroachment by white-nose syndrome and other threats. Evaluation of the survey methods and data will inform refinement of the NABat monitoring program, to make it more efficient and robust, leading to publication of the State of North America’s Bats report in 2021.