Published since 1946
Animations Encourage People to Help Bats
White-nose syndrome is a disease caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. The fungus attacks the bare skin of hibernating bats and causes the bats to be more active and burn through fat storages that would normally help them survive the winter. There is high mortality associated with the disease, which has now been confirmed in 33 states and 7 Canadian provinces. Despite extensive press coverage of the disease and devastation to bats caused by White-Nose Syndrome, bats are still widely perceived by the public to be dangerous, when in fact they provide many benefits to ecosystems, biodiversity and people. New outreach tools have recently been created to help the public understand the critical role that bats play.
To help communicate the positive connections between bats, agriculture and people, the Save Lucy Campaign developed three animated short videos through an award from the USFWS White-nose Syndrome Small Grants Program. The animations and flipbooks with cartoon-style bat characters draw a positive connection between bats, agriculture and people and include human characters that encourage advocacy for bats through positive, funny and engaging story lines. The videos and flipbooks are embedded on The Save Lucy Campaign’s website, where they are free for public use. The bat characters are kid friendly and encourage more questions about bats that can be explored on the The Save Lucy Campaign website.
In 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made funds available for a second year to support research and communications needs outlined in the White-Nose Syndrome National Plan. The White-Nose Syndrome Small Grants Program has dedicated up to $250,000 to address Priority Research and Communications needs to advance conservation efforts of bats and to manage White-Nose Syndrome.