Bats in South Carolina

Eastern Small-footed Bat

Of all the mammals on Earth, bats are the only ones capable of true flight. They use elongated bones (similar to human fingers) and a thin wing membrane stretched between them. Most (about 70%) eat insects but there are some that consume fruits and nectar or small mammals, birds, lizards, frogs, and fish.

South Carolina’s bat species prey on insects and are of great economic importance to the state - they suppress nocturnal insect populations, including crop and forest pests, and reduce the need for costly pesticides. Bats save South Carolina’s agricultural industry over $115 million each year in pest suppression services, totaling $22.9 for the US annually. Bats also indirectly suppress pest-associated fungus and the toxic compounds they produce in corn, and help reduce the impact of pesticides on many other wildlife species that call South Carolina home. Sadly, many bat species have been declining rapidly due to White-nose Syndrome.

Of the 47 bat species documented in the United States (US), 14 are found in South Carolina:

Past incidental records exist of the big free-tailed bat and the federally endangered Indiana bat, but are considered very rare in the state. For detailed information on each of these species, see Chapter 3: Species Accounts of the SC Bat Conservation Plan.

White Nose SyndromeRelated Links

Bat Research

The grants listed in the tables below are those that have been completed and closed as of 2017 as well as grants currently in progress. You can access each final report by clicking on its link.

(Documents below are in PDF format.)

Federal Grant Number Duration Project / Grant Title
State Wildlife Grants (Regular SWG)
T-23-R-1 F06AF00025 2006-2011 Controlling Access to Known and Potential Bat Roosts
SC-T-F16AF00598 2016-2017 Northern Yellow Bat Roost Selection and Fidelity in South Carolina
SC-T-F17AF01195 2017-present South Carolina Bat Monitoring and Research Project
(sub to Clemson: "Roosting and Foraging Ecology of Rare and Sensitive Coastal Bats")
Competitive State Wildlife Grants (C-SWG)
SC-U2-F14AP00958 2014-2017 Carolinas Acoustic Bat Survey
White-nose Syndrome (WNS) Grants to States
SC-E-F14AP00731 2014-2016 White-nose syndrome State Support [2014]
SC-E-F15AP01087 2015-2017 White-nose syndrome Grants to States (WNS State Support) [2015]
SC-E-F15AC00694 2015-2017 South Carolina White-nose Syndrome State Support FY16 [additional funding toward WNS FY15]
SC-E-F16AP00833 2016-2017 White-nose Syndrome Grants to States (WNS State Support) [2016]
SC-E-F17AP00633 2017-present White-nose Syndrome Grants to States [2017]
Section 6 Grants (Traditional and Recovery Land)
    TBD

Due to the sensitive nature of the data resulting from this project, please contact the Project Investigator, Jennifer Kindel, at KindelJ@dnr.sc.gov for a copy of the report. Thank you.