Taking the night shift

Importance of bats to environment and economy

Little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) are the most commonly seen bat in Washington and weighs about the same as a nickel.

White-nose syndrome — a devastating bat disease

Map of white-nose syndrome spread across North America since 2006. For more information, visit whitenosesyndrome.org.
Biologists can use Ultraviolet (UV) light in the field to detect the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome. Infected bats usually have an orange glow on their wings as shown in this picture.

Counting bats to monitor populations

Abandoned home that is now a roosting place for bats.
Left: Colony of bats in abandoned building. Right: A bat takes off into the night sky.

How to be a bat hero

  • Report groups of bats you see using the online observation reporting form. This information will help us understand our bat populations and monitor white-nose syndrome in Washington.
  • Do not handle live bats. If you have found a sick or dead bat, please report it using the online reporting form and contact the closest wildlife rehab facility.
  • Avoid entering areas where bats may be living to limit the potential of transmitting the fungus that causes the disease and disturbing vulnerable bats. Do not allow pets to access areas where bats may be roosting or overwintering as they may carry the fungus to new sites.
  • Get involved in bat conservation! Help improve bat habitats by reducing lighting around your home, minimize tree clearing, and protect streams and wetlands. Try to incorporate one or more snags into your landscape, keeping old and damaged trees when possible. Snags provide important habitat for bats and other backyard wildlife.

Wild Washington lesson for high school students



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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.