As the primary predators of night-flying insects, bats are crucial to the ecology, economy, and health of our shared world ecosystem. The Midwest Bat Working Group (MWBWG) provides a structure for coordination, collaboration, and communication among concerned citizens and professional biologists in state, federal, academic, and private organizations. The MWBWG is dedicated to the conservation of bats and their habitats, particularly in the Midwestern United States, and works to address bat-related issues with a regional approach. Although most participants are from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, membership is open to anyone who seeks to collaborate on research and management of bats or to promote conservation by enhancing public understanding of bats.
Group photo from the 2010 MWBWG Meeting
A serious disease has been killing off bats in the United States and Canada. It was initially discovered in New York, but has now spread to many of the surrounding states and as far west as Oklahoma.
These bats have a white fungus growing on them during hibernation. This fungus is called Geomyces destructans. It is now estimated that over a million bats have died as a result of White-Nose Syndrome
Photo courtesy Al Hicks, New York Department of Environmental Conservation