Volume 37, Issue 1, 2018

Bats in Flight on Public Lands

BCI works with the Bureau of Land Management

By Cynthia Hernandez and Lissa Eng, BLM

Did you know that public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management are home to more than 60 percent of all of the United States’ bat species? That means that public lands are vital to bats and their significant role as pollinators and primary predators of night-flying insects, including many harmful crop pests. The implications to public health and the U.S. economy make bat conservation extremely important.

The Bureau of Land Management is proud to work with Bat Conservation International to manage and conserve bat habitats across the nation. Through this partnership, the BLM and BCI work to increase the quality and quantity of bat roosting and foraging habitat. For example, efforts conducted through this partnership have identified abandoned mines that are no longer in use but can provide suitable habitat through bat-friendly mine closures to help dwindling bat populations.

The BLM manages over 245 million acres of public land across the nation on behalf of the American public, including permanent or seasonal habitats for more than 3,000 species of wildlife. BLM wildlife biologists and partners across the U.S. work together to regularly conduct monitoring projects to learn more about the health and diversity of various bat species. These important insights from the field provide the BLM with essential data to better inform how to manage these lands. Throughout the year, BLM employees, volunteers and partners, like BCI, are proud to work together to conserve bat habitat, monitor bat populations and assess potential future impacts (i.e. drought risk) to bats on public lands. During Bat Week 2017, the BLM shared stories of bat conservation on public lands through the BLM Tumblr blog.

Bats can be on public lands during all seasons. Let’s take a quick trip to find some bat hotspots on your public lands:

Interactive map: Clayton Schmidt / BLM

All articles in this issue:

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