Would you like to help in a citizen science project this winter? Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries say there’s an urgent need to monitor the local bat population in the face of the White-nose syndrome fungus problem.

The bat populations are being wiped out at an unsustainable rate and the disease is encroaching on our state from three sides. The LWF is asking for help monitoring any known or found colonies to ensure their health. I know a lot of people here in Louisiana spend a vast amount of time outdoors, and it’s a simple thing that anyone can do.

Please help keep our colonies safe and strong.

All you have to do is grab a couple of friends or family members, sit outside at dusk near the colony, and do a count at the requested times.

About a quarter of all mammal species are bats, and according to Bat Conservation International there are over 1390 species of bats in the world today, sadly many of them are threatened.

Bats provide important ecosystem services like pollination of plants and consumption of insect pest species. They are considered key-stone species in some areas because of their essential role in supporting other species’ lifestyles.

Micha Petty of LEARN put together this list of Louisiana resident and transient bats, if you are aware of any others, please let us know :

Mexican Free-tailed Bat
Big Brown Bat
Silver-haired Bat
Eastern Red Bat
Hoary Bat
Seminole Bat
Southeastern Myotis
Northern Long-eared Myotis
Evening bat
Tri-colored Bat
Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat

Tadarida brasiliensis
Eptesicus fuscus
Lasionycteris noctivagans
Lasiurus borealis
Lasiurus cinereus
Lasiurus seminolis
Myotis austroriparius
Myotis septentrionalis
Nycticeius humeralis
Perimyotis subflavus
Corynorhinus rafinesquii

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/bat-colony-monitoring