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SOUTH DAKOTA BAT MANAGEMENT PLAN

Bat populations are declining locally, and continentally, due to habitat loss and fragmentation, roost disturbances, public lack of awareness, and poor regulatory measures. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and the South Dakota Bat Working Group recognize the ecological and economic benefits of bats and are initiating efforts to protect habitats and conserve bats in South Dakota. This South Dakota Bat Working Group seeks to protect bats and bat habitat through action, education, and cooperation with federal, state, and private landowners. Objectives include raising awareness concerning the role bats play in maintaining healthy ecosystems and working with public land managers and private landowners to reduce possible disruptions to bats and their habitat. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, specifically the Wildlife Diversity Program, seeks to inventory, protect, and manage species and habitats in a manner that meets the needs and desires of the people of the state while protecting South Dakota's biological diversity. Efforts towards conserving bats and their habitats in South Dakota include the development and implementation of a state bat management plan.

The South Dakota Bat Management Plan includes general background information, management plan outline, and numerous appendices. General background information includes details concerning bats and their habitat, health issues, management justification, and bats' legal status. The management plan outlines objectives, strategies, and makes management recommendations by taxon or habitat of bat species in the management, research, and education sections. Numerous appendices include species accounts, written articles regarding bats, and current federal laws associated with bats and their habitat.

The main goal of the South Dakota Bat Management Plan is to provide guidance promoting long-term conservation of South Dakota bat species through research, management, and education. Through the implementation of this plan, bat conservation efforts will be strengthened and cooperation among agencies, organizations, and landowners, as well as regulatory measures, will be enhanced. The goal being a reversal of downward trends of particular bat populations noted in bat survey work conducted through the years.

Bats receive protection through management, research, and education, therefore each objective and strategy contributes to the achievement of the plan's overall goal. No priority ranking has been established for this management plan. The overall plan goal applies to all bats in South Dakota, as well as the individual objectives and strategies. Because no priority ranking is established, local resource managers must decide which objectives and strategies apply under their authority and are most urgent in their area.

Bats receive protection through proper habitat management, research, and education, therefore each objective and strategy contributes to the achievement of the plan's overall goal. The goals and objectives apply to all bats in South Dakota. While there has been no attempt to prioritized efforts by species, it is presumed that conservation efforts will be keyed to local conditions and situations. Resource managers will decide which objectives and strategies to apply under their authority and which ones are most urgent in their area.

Because the South Dakota Bat Management Plan is designed to be adaptive, each participating agency, group, individual, or organization will be asked to provide annual updates, progress reports regarding objectives and strategies they are conducting or have fulfilled. They updates will help refine goals, objectives and specific strategies. In addition, as new information is learned regarding habitat requirements, population data, or other vital information it will be incorporated into future plan revisions.

South Dakota Bat Management Plan