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U.S. Geological Survey science in support of the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)

February 21, 2020

Bats make up one-fifth of all mammalian species worldwide and are found on every continent except Antarctica. They contribute to overall ecosystem health by suppressing pest insects and pollinating plants and spreading seeds. Eight North American bat species are listed as federally endangered or threatened, and more than one-half are of current conservation concern in the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) leads, manages, and coordinates the multinational North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) as well as conducts scientific research on bats. USGS and NABat partners help resource managers and policymakers make informed decisions regarding the conservation of bats across North America. USGS science also helps inform decision making with respect to WNS surveillance and bat vulnerability; mitigation of potential impacts of energy development on bats; prelisting conservation efforts for regulatory agencies; and land management practices.

Partners are essential to the success of NABat. The data contributed by NABat partners provide baseline knowledge on the distribution and abundance of bats, which is used to evaluate the impacts of the threats to bats across North America. These data are also the foundation for the scientific information used to set conservation priorities and evaluate the effectiveness of management actions.