Currently, White Nose Syndrome is impacting seven hibernating species of bats that inhabit higher latitudes of North America. The decimation, or possible extinction, of many hibernating bat populations of North America is possible as many of these species live for five to fifteen years and only produce one off spring per year.
There are forty-five species of bats inhabiting the United States; bats represent about 20% of all mammal species in the world. Most bat populations are stable and do not fluctuate widely over time. The little brown bat (Myotislucifugus), the Federally-threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotisseptentrionalis), and the Federally-endangered Indiana bat (Myotissodalis) have been hit particularly hard by White Nose Syndrome.
Jewel Cave supports one of the largest known hibernating colonies (over 700 members) of Townsend big-eared bats (Corynorhinustownsendii) in the West. Other bat species that live at the monument include:
- Eptesicus fuscus (Big brown bat)
- Lasionycteris noctivagans (Silver-haired bat)
- Lasiurus cinereus (Hoary bat)
- Myotis lucifugus (Little brown bat)
- Myotis volans (Long-legged bat)
- Myotis ciliolabrum (Westernsmall-footed bat)
- Myotis septentrionalis (Northern long-eared bat)
- Myotis thysanodespahasapensis (Black Hills fringed-tail bat)