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May 2023 NABat News

Updated: May 9, 2023

2023 State of the Bats Report

On April 17, 2023 the North American Bat Conservation Alliance (NABCA) published the first ever State of the Bats in North America report, highlighting the importance of bat conservation, not only for their biodiversity value, but for the ecosystem and economic services bats provide in terms of pest control, pollination, seed dispersal, ecotourism, and their contributions to innovation and science. The report also indicates that 47% of the 154 known bat species across North America are at risk of severe population decline in the next 15 years.

USFWS Grant Funding Available for WNS Research

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is pleased to announce the availability of funding in 2023 for research and conservation action to support the management of white-nose syndrome (WNS) and susceptible bat species. The Service provides financial and technical assistance to nongovernmental, university, and private researchers, as well as state and local governments, Native American tribes, and federal agencies, for the management of WNS and conservation of bats. Funded projects will investigate priority questions to improve our ability to manage the disease and implement management actions that will help to conserve affected bat species. Applications are due June 30th, 2023.

BOEM Seeks Input on Possible Offshore Wind Development

As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced the publication of its Gulf of Maine Call for Information and Nominations (Call). This Call invites public comment on, and assesses interest in, possible commercial wind energy development in areas offshore Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

AWFA Bat Working Group Updates

Housed under the Wildlife Diversity Conservation and Funding Committee, the AFWA Bat Working Group (BWG) was originally formed to help identify barriers to bat conservation and work with other AFWA committees committees to provide guidance and assistance on cross-cutting issues. The BWG continues to work on executing their updated short-and long-term objectives, collaborating with Federal agencies, State bat contacts, and regional working groups to clarify priorities including: the potential Federal listing or reclassification of several species; expanding renewable energy portfolios; the continued spread of White-nose syndrome, and; how to best integrate bats into State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) revisions while Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is back on its path to advancement. Stay tuned for updates on their progress!

Colorado Bat Watch Launched April 17th

Colorado Bat Watch is a collaborative effort to study and conserve bats, developed by Rocky Mountain Wild, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, and bat experts from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, and the North American Bat Monitoring Program. Colorado Bat Watch Community Scientists will collect data on where bats are roosting that will inform multi-agency efforts to respond to the arrival of WNS in Colorado, including efforts to find bat colonies, test for the presence of WNS, monitor bats, and identify roost sites suitable for WNS vaccine testing. Read about the launch here!

BWEC 6th Science and All Committees Meeting: 2022 Workshop Proceedings Published

The Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC or Cooperative) is an alliance of experts from government agencies, private industry, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations that cooperate to develop and disseminate solutions to measure and mitigate the impact of wind turbines on bats, while maintaining the ability to develop and operate wind energy facilities in a competitive and cost-effective manner. In 2022, the BWEC’s Oversight, Science Advisory, and Technical Advisory Committees met virtually on February 7, 8, 28, March 4, and September 7 for the 6th Science and All Committees Meeting to examine progress of the BWEC toward priorities established at the 2018 meeting, discuss emerging issues, and establish priorities for the Cooperative for the years 2023 to 2026. Fing the proceedings here.

NSF and Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Co-fund Conservation Science and Action including WNS Research

The Partnership to Advance Conservation Science and Practice (PACSP), a new collaborative program between the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, recently awarded the US Geological Survey, together with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, over $2.5 million to develop an innovative treatment to prevent white-nose syndrome. The research aims to develop an immune-based strategy to prevent disease by using a model system created by UW-Madison researchers to investigate early interactions between bat skin and the fungus. Researchers will test how receptors in the skin may also influence susceptibility to WNS and how application of FDA-approved drugs alone or in combination with vaccination can protect bats against white-nose syndrome. “We have high hopes that this research will prove to be a powerful tool for fighting white-nose syndrome in bat populations that are most affected,” said Jonathan Reichard, Assistant National White-nose Syndrome Coordinator for the USFWS. “This award will advance collaborations to address critical information gaps and develop effective management tools for this devastating wildlife disease." To learn more about this grant project visit here and here.

Call for Manuscript Submissions: Wind

Wind is accepting submissions for several Special Issues, including “Challenges and Perspectives of Wind Energy Technology” (due 31 May 2023) and “Wind Energy Planning by considering Social, Environmental, and Economic Issues” (due 31 July 2023).

Summary of Bats and Land-Based Wind Energy Development

Wind turbine-related bat fatalities are a concern, particularly for long-distant migrants, including hoary bats. Several behavioral and physiological questions remain as to why bats interact with wind turbines. In addition, assessing the potential population-level impact is challenging because the status and trends for most species are unknown. Closing these information gaps will help advance existing and emerging strategies. Find a summary for the United States and Canada here.

May CoP Call

Wednesday May 10th 12:00 - 1:00 PM MT Join us for the May 2023 NABat Community of Practice call! Sarah Gaulke with the USGS NABat Technical Outreach Team will be sharing, "What we know about banded bats based on NABat data". We will also be hearing from members of the Bat Marking Working Group about their efforts.

If you want to be added to the distribution list for NABat CoP calls, please reach out to Andrea Schuhmann.

NABat Virtual Workshop: Managing Large Datasets

Join this 2-part series hosted by the Stationary Acoustic Working Group to learn about managing large datasets!

May 9th at 11:00-1:00 MT: Data storage and management; Data QA/QC; Batch attribution and data curation; Batch processing auto-classifiers. Link to the meeting info here May 11th at 11:00-1:00 MT: Strategies for manual vetting; Transferring results to NABat; Automating cooperator reports. Link to the meeting info here Check out the NABat Events page for a complete list of training webinars, meeting links, and all other upcoming events!

May's Featured Resource: Quick Links to Resources Our team is gathering links to many useful resources all in one place. Now you can visit one page to find a library of links to resources including training videos, guidance documents, R scripts, and more! This page will be updated as new training videos become available. Find it here!

In Case You Missed It: IUCN SSC Bat Specialist Group Survey on Fieldwork with Bats

The IUCN SSC Bat Specialist Group is conducting a worldwide survey on field hygiene practices among those handling bats. Please consider taking the time to fill out their survey. Only complete this survey if you have worked in close proximity (< 2m) to bats in the past 2 years, or if you plan to do so within the next year. Please also forward to colleagues, students, and basically anyone working with bats. Your anonymous participation in this survey will greatly help the Bat Specialist Group in gaining a better understanding on this matter. The SURVEY IS HERE.


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