Recently, the Indiana bat has been suffering from a decline in numbers due to a range of threats. During hibernation, the Indiana bat is vulnerable to human disturbance, which can cause direct mortality, or cause them to rouse and deplete their important energy reserves. Disturbance can be in the form of researchers, vandalism, and the commercialization of caves, allowing tourists to visit caves. Modifications to mines and caves, such as the construction of gates to restrict human access, alter airflow, temperature and humidity, to which the Indiana bat is very sensitive; or gates may not allow sufficient flight space for the bats and thus block them from a critical hibernation site (2) (3). As Indiana bats hibernate in very large numbers in only a few caves, this makes them particularly vulnerable to disturbance and natural disasters, as a large proportion of the total population can be affected by a single event (3).
The summer habitat is also threatened by habitat loss and degradation, caused by housing development, clear-cutting for agriculture, or forest management practices that result in a shortage of suitable roosting sites for breeding females (2). The use of pesticides is also likely to have affected the Indiana bat by reducing insect populations on which they depend (4)