WNS detected in Northeast Oklahoma Bats

LANGLEY – A unique species of bat, the Northern long-eared bat, which makes its home around Grand River Dam Authority lakes is listed as a threatened species – a species likely to become endangered in the future – under the Endangered Species Act.

To help protect these bats and their habitat, the Grand River Dam Authority and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are working together to educate the public about these special lake area residents.

The northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) was added to the threatened list primarily due to a disease called white-nose syndrome, which is drastically impacting and killing hibernating bats. WNS has killed more than six million bats in eastern North America, and the fungus that causes the disease was recently found in caves in Northeast Oklahoma.

 The northern long-eared bat is a medium-sized bat that can be distinguished by its long ears, especially when compared to most other bats found in the area. The range of this species covers 23 counties in Oklahoma, including all of Grand Lake and Lake Hudson. Northern long-eared bats are very beneficial to lake ecosystems. Each bat can consume up to 3,000 insects per night, including mosquitoes and crop pests. Scientists now believe that bats, in general, save more than $3 billion dollars per year in pest control by simply eating insects.
Read more at Tahlequah Daily Press
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