Retired military bunkers used as artificial bat hibernacula at Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Maine (April 9, 2013)

In an effort to address mortality rates of little brown bats, biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries, Vermont Fish and Wildlife, New York Department of Environmental Conservation and Bucknell University have investigated the potential for using decommissioned military bunkers on national wildlife refuges as artificial hibernacula for imperiled bats. These sites could offer predator-free winter habitats for bats where biologists can monitor behavior and implement possible treatments against WNS. These sites may also be decontaminated during summer when bats are absent, which may slow or delay progression of the disease in individuals housed there the next winter.