Arizona boasts an amazing diversity of Arizona bats: 28 Arizona species representing four families are found in this great state. Arizona bats can be found all across the state in every type of Arizona habitat, from Arizona deserts to forests. Arizona was the first state to have a full-time position within its state wildlife agency specifically designated to work with bats. The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Bat Management Program was created in 1990, when the Department began receiving Heritage Fund money from Arizona Lottery ticket sales for use with wildlife and bats. One goal of the Arizona Bat Management Program is to facilitate the conservation and management of Arizona bats in Arizona by working cooperatively with landowners and local, state, and federal agencies.
The Arizona Department’s Bat Management Program is currently seeking project applications for the 2008 Arizona Bat Grants Program. The deadline for proposals is June 30, 2008. Arizona Projects that address the priorities explained in the Arizona Bat Conservation Strategic Plan will be considered.
Arizona Program Background
Arizona was the first state to have a full-time position within its state wildlife agency specifically designated to work with Arizona bats. The Arizona Bat Management Program was created in 1990, when the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) began receiving Heritage Fund money from the Arizona Lottery for bats. Originally the Arizona project employed three full-time biologists. Their job was to survey Arizona bat habitat, identify important bat roosts (focusing especially on caves and mines), and recommend conservation and management actions for Arizona areas that were important to bats. However, it quickly became apparent that to effectively conserve and manage Arizona bats, we needed help from the larger bat conservation community.
Arizona State Bat Resource Group
In 1994, the Arizona Bat Resource Group (ABRG) was formed as part of the Arizona Western Bat Working Group. The Arizona ABRG is comprised of agencies, organizations, and individuals interested in bat research, management, and conservation in Arizona. Together, Arizona AGFD and the ABRG have developed statewide strategies for bat management and conservation. In 2003, as a result of these Arizona efforts, the Arizona Bat Conservation Strategic Plan was finalized. The Arizona Plan outlines specific goals and objectives for bat management, research, inventory and monitoring, and education needs that should be addressed in Arizona. The Arizona Plan includes information on each of our 28 bat species, habitat distribution maps, and discussion of the types of habitats bats use in Arizona. Similar Arizona planning efforts are complete or underway in other states.