Holding the Line: Pre-WNS Monitoring, Education, and Outreach. Characterizing Western Bat Hibernacula: Cave Morphology, Microclimate, and MicrobiologyPI: Katrina Smith
With support from the NPS Biological Resource Division, Lava Beds National Monument hired two physical science technicians and two park rangers to conduct bat monitoring and provide white-nose syndrome (WNS) screening and visitor education. Acoustic monitoring throughout the park contributed to national protocols, better informing biologists about bat activity in the West. Acoustic equipment used to record bat echolocation calls was shared with the public through evening programs where the importance and uniqueness of bats was emphasized to monument visitors. WNS screening and decontamination was provided for all visitors entering caves. As WNS continues to spread, the monument is committed to the protection and monitoring of critical bat habitat. Equally important commitments lie in sharing the value of this unique resource with visitors.