Iowa Bats: Quality Habitat Essential in Fight against White Nose Syndrome

Jul 20, 2017

Bats are a fascinating and beneficial part of Iowa's eco-system, but they have a public relations problem; centuries of fictional villainy and bad publicity means that many people are still frightened and disgusted by them.

"A bat in a house can be scary, but when you're out in their world, they're absolutely amazing," says Russ Benedict of Central College.

In addition to their undeserved bad reputation, bats are also at risk because of environmental pressures, loss of habitat, and worst of all, a mysterious syndrome called white nose syndrome that has killed millions of bats. On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion on the species of bats that live in the state, the role they play in Iowa's ecosystem, and the challenges they face.

Included in the discussion are: Kelly Poole, threatened and endangered species coordinator at the Iowa DNR; Adam Janke, assistant professor and extension wildlife specialist at Iowa State University; and Russ Benedict, biology professor at Central College in Pella.