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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 are initiating efforts to protect habitats and conserve bats in South Dakota. To learn more about these efforts, check out the South Dakota Bat Management Plan.

Articles about bats:

Anyone who desires to conduct bat research must comply with the requirements of the Bat Sampling and Protection Protocol Guidelines.

Recent Threats

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a disease that affects hibernating bats in eastern North America. It is widely thought to be caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd). In February of 2006, a photograph of hibernating bats with strange white fuzz became the first token piece of evidence of a disease that has killed over 5 million bats. Much has been learned about Pd and the disease since its discovery, but even more remains a mystery.

Originally described as Geomyces destructans, this cold-loving fungus causes a skin infection and looks like white fuzz on the nose, ears, and membranes of the wings and tail of infected bats. Pd is found in cold and humid (>90%) environments, growing within a temperature range of 40-68 F making caves and mines ideal environments for this fungus.

Learn more:

BatsLIVE is a free distance-learning program that highlights the use of technological media to reach children, educators, land managers and the public. It also serves as a clearinghouse of bat education resources including sample curriculums, lesson plans, videos and posters as well as multiple links to other bat-related information.