Technical Updates

Thursday, 09 December 2021
Managing Forests for Bats in Appalachia

The Appalachian region is the largest biodiversity hotspot in the US, and one of the most significant regions globally. To better understand the relationship between responsible forest management and biodiversity, FSC sent journalist Amber Cortes and videographer Julian Manrique into the forests of Kentucky last summer to meet with researchers and forest managers.

Hosted by FSC certificate holders The Forestland Group and University of Kentucky, the team visited forests where researchers are studying the interactions between different management activities and the health of bat populations. Specifically, the northern long-eared bat and the Indiana bat are seeing populations decline due to both habitat loss and white-nosed disease.

Working with researchers from the University of Kentucky, The Forestland Group is testing the impacts of three different silvicultural prescriptions to see which the bats prefer. And to understand the bats, they needed help from Mike Lacki, who is known as “the bat man.” A professor emeritus at the University, Lacki spent his career on the conservation ecology and natural history of North America’s bats (To get a sense of his passion, check out this video).

The bottom line is that responsible forest management can improve habitat for bats and help populations recover.

FSC sincerely appreciates the passion and support provided by The Forestland Group and the University of Kentucky to bring this story to life.

Read “The balancing act: conserving habitat for threatened bats on timberlands in the heart of Appalachia.”