Responding to Calls and Concerns about Bats

Responding to Calls and Concerns about Bats
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-10-06
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Responding to Calls and Concerns about Bats
Unit 2Transcript: Responding to Calls and Concerns about Bats
Unit 3Workbook: Responding to Calls and Concerns about Bats
Unit 4Recording: Responding to Calls and Concerns about Bats

Bats are one of the few animal species that have quite a bad reputation based on how they are portrayed in folklore, media, and even sciences as a culprit to zoonotic diseases. Bats, however, are a critical part of our ecosystem and unknowingly to a lot of people, provide us with free pest control that would otherwise cost all of us a lot. This webinar aims to raise awareness on this often misunderstood animals and how to manage human interactions with them.

Leading the discussion is John Griffin. John is the Senior Director Of Urban Wildlife Programs for the Humane Society of the United States where he oversees service and programs and provides training to resolve human-wildlife conflicts. He has more than two decades of field experience across different species from raccoons to great apes.

Specifics of this session tackled:

  • The factors and reasons that contribute to increased wildlife-human conflicts.
  • Common issues that create negative associations of bats and impact human response to their presence.
  • An overview of how prevalent bats are across the world, the different species, their benefit to the ecosystem, and their behavior.
  • Getting to know the most common bat species – their habitat, diet, pervasiveness, distinct qualities, activities, and behavior when it comes to breeding and roosting
  • The seasonal phases of a bat’s life and the value of familiarizing ourselves with this to guide our interaction with them.
  • White nose syndrome: What it is, how it was discovered, how it spread, how it impacts bats, and the species that are impacted.
  • Common entry points that allow bats to get into human living spaces and areas where they tend to loaf, roost, and use as colonies.
  • Basic pointers when capturing and removing bats.
  • Reasons for downed bats based on the species and how to best handle such situations.
  • Tell-tale signs of bat presence and identifying characteristics of bat guano.
  • Primary guidelines when conducting eviction and exclusion of bats as it relates to the time/season, the steps to take, the device to use, and ensuring bats do not go back.
  • Rabies: The virus, its cases and death toll in humans within the US, how it is contracted, symptoms of rabies in humans, and the top rabies vector wildlife species.
  • Preventing and controlling rabies through post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and proper handling, and the components of PEP.
  • The value in raising awareness about bat exposure and the different resources to look into for more information about bats and bat-related zoonotic diseases
  • Points raised during the Q&A are about pre- and post-exposure vaccines for people who work with animals and other zoonotic diseases that bats carry.



Other Webinars with HSUS:


Or, click here to register and view other Animal Welfare webinars and recordings on the JCH website. 


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “Great topic! Top 5 things I learned: (1) How small bat bites can be so treat any contact as an exposure to rabies. (2) The mechanisms of how white-nose syndrome is killing bats. (3) The variety of bat species in N. America. (4) The variety of ways bats can squeeze into your house. (5) The unobtrusive ways bats can be humanely excluded/evicted from human dwellings.” — Avery
  • “Photos of exclusion were helpful.” — Belinda
  • “Loved this webinar! I attend a lot of continuing education classes and webinars and this was the best! I respond to a lot of bat calls inside living quarters or on the ground and thought I knew a lot about bats but I learned, even more, today, thank you! — Gina
  • “A lot of good educational info.” — Suzanne




This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.



Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues.



Additional Resources
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After the Webinar: Responding to Calls and Concerns about Bats. Q&A with John Griffin
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