Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Dr. Krista Jones
bats, COVID-19, survey, public perception, conservation, Vermont
Bats are important for the multitude of ecosystem services they provide such as insect control, pollination, seed dispersal, and nutrient transfer. However, despite their positive contributions, bats have historically been feared for their association with vampire lore and their portrayal as carriers of disease. With bat populations already at risk due to diseases, such as white nose syndrome (WNS), conservation efforts to protect bats are more important than ever. Given the paucity of information on the perception of bats in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study aimed to analyze the current perception of bats in Chittenden County, Vermont in the aftermath of COVID-19. It also aimed to assess if this perception influences people’s willingness to support bat conservation and rehabilitation efforts. A total of 322 surveys were collected with 34 questions assessing each participant’s attitude towards bats, experience with bats, and knowledge of bat-related topics. There was a positive linear relationship between participants’ attitude, experience, and knowledge of bats. Additionally, 78.6% of participants strongly supported efforts to protect threatened bats and 84.5% of participants opposed efforts to remove bats from the environment. Although this study was limited in scope and size, it provides hope for the future of bat conservation in Vermont because of the overwhelmingly positive attitudes, significant experience, and expansive knowledge participants in Chittenden County demonstrated.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Kilmetis, Hannah Morgan, "Analysis of the Public Perception of Bats in Chittenden County, VT Following the Outbreak of COVID-19" (2023). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 561.
Available for download on Thursday, May 22, 2025