Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Utah
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Utah Project

Bat Distribution and Population Trends prior to WNS in Utah

August 2022 - December 2023


Participating Agencies

  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Bats in Utah are facing multiple emerging threats to their persistence, the greatest of which is the disease white-nose syndrome (WNS). As WNS spreads across the continent, data on species impact is needed to guide conservation efforts and respond to USFWS data requests. Current WNS treatment/control efforts are focused on integrated approaches that combat the causative fungus directly or reduce infection and mortality in bats, as well as promoting overall health of bat populations to support resistance to and recovery from WNS. UDWR has a WNS response protocol which outlines goals, objectives, and strategies first designed to prevent the disease from establishing in Utah and secondly to provide management and surveillance strategies should WNS be detected in the state (Roug et al. 2017). To date, WNS has not been documented in Utah, but given past rates of spread, is expected to be confirmed in the coming years.

Goals of the project include defining the range of Utah bat species in the state based on historical data and calculating occupancy, detection probability, and trend within the defined ranges for each species from Utah monitoring protocol data.