Welcome to the Tennessee Bat Working Group
The Tennessee Bat Working Group (TNBWG) was formed in the summer of 2004 in recognition of the need for cooperation among various groups and individuals to help coordinate the conservation of bat species in Tennessee.
The scope of the TNBWG is the study and exchange of information relative to the conservation, biology, ecology, and management of bats and their habitats on all state, federal, and private lands within the state of Tennessee. The goal of the TNBWG is to conserve bats and their habitats in the southeastern United States through collaborative research, education, and management with a focus on bat research, conservation, education, and management within the state of Tennessee. Find more TNBWG information and details about upcoming meetings on the "About" page of this site.
TNBWG Citizen Science Project
The TNBWG is coordinating a state-wide summer maternity roost monitoring program. This program uses emergence counts and multi-state coordination to investigate emerging wildlife health threats. The goals of the survey are to: Gather base line information on summer colonies; evaluate the impact of WNS on summer colonies; and correlate long term trends of Tennessee bats.
If you are interested in participating in this program, please read through the Summer Bat Roost Registration Forms and Volunteer Survey Guidance.
If you have upcoming bat related events here in Tennessee that you would like to share with the TNBWG here on our website, please contact us!
A Bat Blitz was conducted in the Cherokee National Forest, Ocoee Ranger District to learn more about bat species in that portion of the Forest. On July 22nd and 23rd about 14 sites in the mountains of East Tennessee were surveyed by mist netting and acoustic sampling. Through the blitz, information was gathered about the needs of bats to incorporate into land management planning efforts. The event was hosted jointly by the Cherokee NF, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Southeastern Bat Diversity Network. Approximately 35 people from the Tennessee Valley Authority, Indiana State University, University of Tennessee, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, North Carolina Department of Transportation, North Carolina Natural History Museum and several consulting firms participated in the blitz. Base camp was at Thunder Rock Campground on the Ocoee River in Polk County. A total of 27 bats of 6 species were captured: 14 big brown bats, 5 northern long-eared bats, 4 red bats, 2 small-footed bats, 1 tri-colored bat and 1 evening bat. Acoustic results are not in at this time.
Working group members present a bat program for Vanderbilt's School of Science and Math.
A bat presentation was given at the Williamson County Library by Sara Samoray and can be viewed Here on YouTube.
The working group held a bat blitz at Edwin Warner Park in Nashville on May 16th. Unfortunately, low temperatures cut the night short with only 1 capture of a Tri-colored bat and several acoustic recordings of Red bats. Despite the low captures, It was a really good experience and we appreciate the cooperation of Nashville Metro Parks staff and all that attended.
The 2013 TNBWG meeting was held at Fall Creek Falls State Park on November 21st with over 70 bat researchers and bat enthusiasts in attendance.
Selected presentations and abstracts from the 2013 meeting:
Note: several presentations are part of ongoing research.
- Mike Armstrong (USFWS): A regional perspective on WNS, migration studies, Indiana bat survey guidance, and ESA listing decisions (PDF)
- Veronica Brown (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): Bat education and outreach (PDF)
- Cory Holliday (TNC): Artificial Cave update (PDF)
- Chris Cornelison (GSU): Bacterially mediated contact-independent antagonism of Geomyces destructans (docx)
- Brian Flock (TWRA): WNS in Tennessee update (PDF)
- Riley Bernard (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): Changes in winter activity of bats in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee due to White-nose Syndrome (PDF)
Tennessee Bat Working Group Life Time Achievement Award
The first ever Mick Harvey Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Michael J. Harvey (left).
The TNBWG helped deliver some bat facts to visitors at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville during their "Spooky Science" program. Thanks to Stephanie for inviting us to participate.
White Nose Syndrome
Described by some biologists as the most precipitous wildlife decline in the past century in North America, White Nose Syndrome (WNS) has killed more than 1 million bats since it was discovered in 2006.
WNS gets is name from the white fungal growth typically found on the face and wing membranes of infected bats.
Current WNS Distribution Map
note: for the most up to date map please check the USFWS website