a tricolored bat in flight
Tricolored bat, J. Scott Altenbach

State of the Bats Expert Elicitation Summary

The North American Bat Conservation Alliance (NABCA) facilitates coordination and communication among parties interested in bat conservation by soliciting, compiling, and sharing information relevant to bat conservation and promoting cooperative activities. The NABCA State of the Bats report characterizes the current conservation status and top threats facing North American bats and provides a baseline assessment for future efforts to assess the status and trends of bats based on the data-driven methodology of the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat).

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From 2020 to 2022, bat experts in Mexico, the United States, and Canada convened virtually to systematically assess the extinction risk of bat species in North America. The expert elicitation was conducted by Bat Conservation International (BCI) using NatureServe criteria. The expert elicitation process engaged a diverse group of experts identified through regional bat working groups and researchers with recognized expertise on North American bats. Experts estimated the range extent, population size, short-term population trend, and impact of threats for each species at the national level for the three countries representing NABCA (USA, Canada, and Mexico).

From the NatureServe criteria, we calculated the national conservation status for each species. Conservation statuses and ranks vary by system and country, but all of the different designations play an important role in identifying species that require protection (Table 1).

Table 1. Comparison of conservation statuses and categories by system or country. NatureServe and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categories and criteria are global systems. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), the United States’ Endangered Species Act (ESA), and Norma Oficial Mexicana 059 (NOM-59) (Mexican Official Standard 059) are country specific.

NatureServeIUCNCOSEWICESANOM-059 categoriesConservation Priority
Critically ImperiledCritically EndangeredEndangeredEndangeredEndangeredHigh
ImperiledEndangered
VulnerableVulnerableThreatenedThreatenedThreatenedHigh
Apparently secureNear ThreatenedSpecial concern Special concernMedium
SecureLeast ConcernNot at risk  Low


The structured expert elicitation was conducted online with a web-based tool created for the assessment by Bat Conservation International (BCI). We used a four-point elicitation to capture within-expert uncertainty where experts provide a lower bound, upper bound, central estimate, and confidence level that the true value falls between the upper and lower bounds (Speirs-Bridge et al. 2010). With a modified Delphi approach, the anonymous responses were shared and discussed among the experts, and then experts were allowed to adjust their estimates (Burgman et al. 2011).

A peer-review manuscript sharing the in-depth analysis of the expert elicitation is forthcoming

We thank the 102 experts for their time invested, knowledge, and dedication to bat conservation.

Canada

  • Amanda Adams
  • Anouk Simard
  • Charles Francis
  • Cori Lausen
  • Cory Olson
  • Craig Willis
  • Erin Fraser
  • Hugh Broders
  • Jason Rae
  • Jordi Segers
  • Lisa Wilkinson
  • Mandy Kellner
  • Mark Brigham
  • Yvonne Dzal

United States

  • Al Kurta
  • Amy Russell
  • Angie McIntire
  • Blake Sasse
  • Carol Chambers
  • Chris Todd
  • Corinna Pinzari
  • Cory Holliday
  • Dan Bachen
  • Dan Neubaum
  • Dave Johnston
  • Drew Stokes
  • Elizabeth Braun de Torrez
  • Frank Bonaccorso
  • Frank Ridgley
  • Holly Ober
  • Jason Corbett
  • Jeff Gore
  • Jon Reichard
  • Kristen Lear
  • Kristina Montoya-Aiona
  • Krysta Demere
  • Loren Ammerman
  • Mark Ford
  • Melquisedec Gamba-Rios
  • Michael Whitby
  • Mike Armstrong
  • Pat Brown
  • Paul Moosman
  • Pete Pattavina
  • Piper Roby
  • Rick Adams
  • Rita Dixon
  • Sandra Sneckenberger
  • Sara Weaver
  • Scott Richardson
  • Shannon Hilty
  • Steve Thomas
  • Susan Loeb
  • Ted Weller
  • Theresa Laverty
  • Tim Snow
  • Tina Cheng
  • Tom O’Shea
  • Trina Morris
  • Winifred Frick

Mexico

  • Abigail Martínez
  • Ana Ibarra
  • Andrea Valdés
  • Antonio Guillén
  • Bernal Rodríguez
  • Carmen Orozco
  • Celia López
  • Celia Selem
  • Cristian Kraker
  • Cristina MacSwiney
  • Cynthia Elizalde
  • Daniel Ramos
  • Daniel Zamora
  • David Vázquez
  • Fernando Montiel
  • Gerardo Herrera
  • Giovani Hernández
  • Iván Alarcón
  • Jesus Montero
  • Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales
  • Jorge Ayala
  • Jorge Ortega
  • Jorge Vargas
  • José Flores
  • Juan Cruzado
  • Leonora Torres
  • Livia León
  • Luis Ávila
  • Luis Hernández
  • Luis Trujillo
  • Margarita García
  • Marisol Martínez
  • Martin Cabrera
  • Melqui Gamba-Rios
  • Moises Ruiz
  • Pedro Aguilar
  • Rafael Ávila
  • Rodrigo Medellín
  • Sandra Ospina
  • Valeria Salinas
  • Verónica Zamora
  • Wendy Sánchez Gómez