This summer’s bat survey throughout the U.S. and Canadian Flathead Valley gave researchers valuable new information about the region’s bat population . . .
Given the ill perception of bats, the winged mammals might not figure prominently into the public’s catalog of critters worth protecting in Montana, but if western bat populations plummeted, as they have in other parts of North America, residents would take notice.
Millions of bats are dying across eastern North America because of a fungal disease called white nose syndrome, and the potential for dramatic ecological imbalances has researchers scrambling to learn more about the fungus.
Bat biologists in the Flathead Valley of Montana and British Columbia recently conducted a so-called “bio-blitz” of research, compiling data they will add to last year’s bat inventory in the Upper Flathead River drainage – the first formal inventory of its kind – and releasing a report called “July 2014 Bat Inventory of Flathead River Valley.”