USGS scientists collaborate with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to develop a standardized assessment protocol to support monitoring of the impact of transportation structures on bats
USGS scientists from FORT with the North American Bat Monitoring Program are working with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) to standardize transportation structure assessments, data collection, and submissions regarding bat use and occupancy to the NABat database.
AFWA Resolution 2023-05-07, “In support of collaboration between state fish and wildlife agencies and departments of transportation to consider the potential impact of transportation structures on bats” was passed in late September 2023. The resolution recognizes that bats are integral members of healthy functioning ecosystems, providing essential services despite mounting threats like habitat loss, climate change, wind energy development and disease.
Transportation structures provide important habitat for bats, including six species listed, proposed, or under Endangered Species Act listing review. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has made $110 billion available to address development, maintenance, and improvements to America’s ageing infrastructure providing greater opportunity for agencies to collaboratively monitor, protect, and manage associated wildlife habitat.
In collaboration with AFWA, USGS scientists have developed a transportation structure assessment protocol and are providing standardized guidance on data collection and submission procedures for data shared with the NABat database. Standardizing these practices informs the effective management and conservation of bat resources and bat populations while helping transportation infrastructure projects avoid significant delays and added costs.
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