Wing prints may identify bats as reliably as fingerprints do humans, researchers recently reported. In a study published in the Journal of Mammalogy, U.S. Forest Service biologists showed how biometrics can identify bats witout the need to band them. Studying little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), and tricolored bats (Perimyotis subflavus), the team found collagen-elastin bundles, which crisscross bat wings to make them strong yet flexible, were unique and consistent over time. Using wing prints could eliminate banding injuries which is important due to negative effects white-nose syndrome can have on wing areas where the bands are attached.

adapted from The Wildlife Society Bulletin