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

South Carolina Project

Effects of field management on bats of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

January 2024 - June 2026


Participating Agencies

  • National Park Service

Bats provide important ecosystem services but are declining due to many threats. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (BISO) provides habitat for 12 bat species, of which seven are susceptible to white-nose syndrome and three are experiencing heavy mortality due to wind energy development. Open areas such as fields are important bat foraging areas and many of at-risk bat species utilize fields. This study will determine 1) which bat species utilize fields for foraging, 2) the effects of field size and shape on use, and 3) effects of past management and vegetative characteristics on activity of each species. The project is a collaboration of researchers across multiple agencies and includes the US Forest Service, Clemson University, USGS SC CFWRU, and natural resource managers at BISO. Results of this study will inform future management of these important areas and help managers design management plans that are effective for achieving management objectives while providing valuable habitat for conservation and recovery of bat species at BISO.