Look for and report suspicious bats this winter

November 30, 2010

The weather is starting to get cold and Alabama’s bats are getting ready to hibernate. But this winter is different. White Nose Syndrome is very close to Alabama and we need your help to look for suspicious bats in Alabama. What should you look for? We’d like to hear from you if you’ve seen any of the following:

  • Bats that are dying or dead in groups of 5 or more
  • Bats with a white fungus on their face or wings
  • Missing or greatly-reduced summer bat colonies

You can review additional photos of WNS-affected bats at the Fish and Wildlife Service web page. If you see anything suspicious, don’t touch the bats. Please take pictures of the bat(s) and make a note of the street address if you’re in a city. Get a GPS location if you can. If you’re out hiking, try to get a GPS location, but if you can’t, please try to be as specific about the area where you saw the bat(s).

Then, open a Bat Report Form (available in Microsoft Word or Plain Text). Fill out the form and email it to alabamabats@gmail.com along with photos of the bats.

Also, let your friends, colleagues, scouting groups, and church groups know about this effort. If the community can help wildlife biologists track WNS, it will be easier to figure out where the disease is moving, and learn more about it. Thank you for your help!

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Gear decon videos

November 22, 2010

Are you a caver? Here’s  YouTube channel that describes how to decontaminate your gear, thanks to the Caver Safety Techniques Channel. Check back for additional videos about gear decon.

This video describes how to prepare a bleach bath for deconning gear:

This video shows how to decontaminate vertical gear:

This video shows how to set up a gear decon station at a caving event:


Report on National Public Radio about WNS

November 10, 2010

Here’s a good report of WNS from National Public Radio. This first aired in August, 2010.

Science Friday: Little Brown Bats Could Disappear from the Northeast

You know, species die out all over the world in remote places we never heard about, but there is one species that is dying right before our eyes, in our lifetime. We’ve been talking about it for years on this program, and now a group of scientists writing in the journal Science says there’s a 99 percent chance little brown bats, once a very common species, may be extinct in the Northeast within the next 16 years.

You can also read a complete transcript of the program.