Bat Projects in Parks: Pacific Northwest Region

Summary

Pacific West Region (PWR) White-nose Syndrome Response Actions

PI: Denise Louie

Project centers on rapid response to recent discovery of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in Washington State in early spring 2016. PWR formed a nimble response team representing parks, networks, PWR, and the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate (NRSS) and crafted an initial strategy with the following objectives:
  • Communication – Increase awareness and knowledge of WNS among staff and visitors
  • Training/Resources – Build capacity for responding to bat-related health issues within parks, across regions, and servicewide
  • Surveillance – Determine presence and distribution of Pd on bats in areas adjacent to where WNS was detected in Wash.

Accomplishments

  • Enabled members of the Response Team to participate in several in-person meetings/workshops in the Pacific Northwest to network with colleagues from other agencies and experts in WNS for coordinated response strategies.
  • Purchased essential monitoring equipment (mist netting supplies and acoustic monitoring equipment) for North Coast and Cascades Network (Mount Rainier National Park as host), Klamath Network and San Francisco Bay Area Network.
  • Provided 9 scholarships across the region for NPS biologists to participate in an 8-day intensive combined field survey technique course for monitoring bats. These 9 biologists have now formed a new cadre to help the region and parks address WNS with collective power. Also supported 3 biologists with modest travel support to be able to attend and provided overtime for a seasonal biotech to attend.
  • Supported Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve to continue to work with Bureau of Land Managment (BLM) bat specialist to train staff and lead bat monitoring actions in the cave systems and to purchase decontamination equipment.
  • Supported a biotech to conduct data mining across the region on an expansive list of questions (POCs, # of buildings/AML with hibernacula, education program, etc.) that will facilitate WNS response and bat conservation over the long term.