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 billion 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.

Join us for a Halloween Bat Count during #SCBatWeek

Annually on the last Friday of October

The 2023 event will be on Fri Oct 27. PAWS Animal Wildlife Sanctuary will be there at 5:30 pm , and a bat talk will start around 6 pm. Sunset is at 6:40 pm and when the bats usually start to emerge, ending by 7:30 pm. Dress warm!

See South Carolina Bat Working Group webpage, FB page, and/or #SCBatWeek or for updates.

Sunrift Adventures
1 Center Street, Travelers Rest, SC

Sunrift Adventures has bat houses fostering hundreds of beneficial, insect-eating bats that' emerge in an impressive display at sunset. Join us while we survey and celebrate these mysterious creatures with a bat talk, bat count, prizes and more!

Of the 47 bat species documented in the United States (US), 15 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 2017-2020 South Carolina Bat Monitoring and Research Project
(sub to Clemson: "Roosting and Foraging Ecology of Rare and Sensitive Coastal Bats")
SC-T-F19AF00722 2019-2020 Upstate Bridge Use by Highest Priority Bat Species
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 2017-2018 White-nose Syndrome Grants to States [2017]
SC-E-F18AP00557 2018-2019 White-nose Syndrome Grants to States [2018]
SC-E-F19AP00830 2019-2020 White-nose Syndrome Grants to States and Tribes [2019]
SC-E-F20AP11384-00 2019-2020 White-nose Syndrome State Support FY20
Section 6 Grants (Traditional and Recovery Land)

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