Get Involved

save the bats presentation at BioBlitz 2016
Participants at BioBlitz 2016 in Washington, D.C., learn how to help save the bats.

M. Verant/NPS photo

We need bats if we want healthy and diverse ecosystems filled with a variety of organisms. Many bats feast on insects, some pollinate plants, and some bats spread seeds, too. Larger animals may depend on bats for prey. Aside from all these great services, bats are the only mammal that's capable of true flight, and they're simply fascinating.

The deadly fungal disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS), poses a real danger to cave-dwelling bats. Tree-roosting and migratory bats face significant threats from wind turbines. WNS has killed 99% of some bat colonies, and habitat loss and wind turbines also make it difficult for bats to survive and thrive.
But we can all help protect bats and their habitats! Try some of these ideas to help conserve bats. You can help bats in your own yard and community, and you can learn how to protect bats when you visit parks, too.

At Home

  • Use iNaturalist. With an app on your smartphone, you can take part in citizen science by observing bats in a park or in your own backyard. Learn more about iNaturalist and add your own observations.
  • Build a bat house. Bats are running out of good places to roost, rest, and raise young. A backyard bat house will provide shelter they desperately need in your neighborhood or community. In national parks, staff work to protect natural habitat for bats to live in instead of building bat houses.Learn more.
  • Learn more about bats. Bat Conservation International and the Organization for Bat Conservation both provide a lot of information about bats and ways you can help.

In Parks

  • Stay out of caves when directed. The bats at risk for WNS often hibernate or raise young in caves. They need to be undisturbed so they can rest and raise their young. Also, it is actually unlawful to enter most caves on public lands.
  • Decontaminate before going in a cave. It may be possible for humans to spread WNS from one cave into another. Be sure to listen to rangers' directions for cleaning (or leaving behind) your shoes, backpack, and gear before entering a cave.
  • Tell a ranger if you see bats acting strangely. Rangers can take steps to protect both bats and people if a bat is behaving in an unusual way.
And no matter where you are, you can celebrate Bat Week in October every year!

Last updated: January 19, 2017

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