Clearer thinking

CNHP Zoology


Colorado Bat Working Group


Climbers for Bat Conservation

Bat populations are declining in response to wind energy development and White Nose Syndrome, but understanding how these populations are changing requires access to bats for monitoring. For example, eastern North America has seen precipitous declines in hibernating bats, and have been able to witness the mass mortality by visiting caves and mines where there are piles of dead individuals. In the West, we don't have the large over-winter colonies seen in the East, andd our ability to witness such declines is more difficult.

One user group frequently encounters bats is rock climbers. In an effort to bring bat biologist, climbers, and land managers together, Bernadette Kuhn (former botanist with CNHP and avid climber), Dr. Shawn Davis (former human dimensions researcher at CSU), and I convened a group now called Climbers for Bat Conservation.

climber climber

The first meeting was a chance to discuss shared interests in outdoor recreation, conservation, and collaboration. The climbers were engaged in the process and interested in contributing their knowledge.

CBC artist CBC working groups

Many of the members were so passionate about the collaboration that they advocated for developing a logo (see below), developing a social media presence (find us on Facebook), and a website (Climbers for Bat Conservation).

CBC logo

Karina Mullen Branson of ConverSketch documented the entire meeting in a beautiful mural.

Bats and Climbers meeting