Alaska bats


Jesika Reimer, Assistant Zoologist at UAA’s Alaska Center for Conservation Science (ACCS), retrieves a Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) from a mist net so it can be banded and radio tagged on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) near Anchorage, Alaska. Photo by James R. Evans/University of Alaska Anchorage. Until recently, not much was known about bat populations in Alaska. In 2016, white nose syndrome, the disease that is decimating bat populations mostly in the eastern continental United States and Canada, made a jump west and was discovered in Washington. “With this fungus spreading it means people are more interested, and funding agencies are more interested, in finding out about the little brown bat. Especially in somewhere like Alaska where we didn’t know a lot,” says Jesika Reimer, an Alaska-based biologist whose research is focused on bats. For a long time, people thought bats migrated outside of Alaska for winter hibernation. Based…