Tuesday, June 28, 2011


A Big Brown bat
 Our first few nights of mist netting proved to be VERY successful! We captured lots of big brown bats, much like we did last year.   We also caught eastern red bats last year, but this year we have already caught twice as many, and most have been pregnant females.

An Eastern Red bat

What we have been really fortunate to net are species that we did not catch last year...including A northern long-eared and a Tri-colored (this bat had a recent change in common name, it used to be referred to as an Eastern Pipistrille).

Tri-colored bat..isn't that the cutest face ever!
Northern Long-eared..look at those long ears!
The northern long-eared bat can be difficult to capture because of their habit of staying in very forested areas.  They are very similar to little brown bats in physical characteristics, the only way to tell them apart is their long ears and very pointed tragus (the little part right inside their ear).  The United States Fish and Wildlife was recently petitioned to have the northern long-eared bat listed as endangered, so the fact that we have a breeding population of these bats is great! 

We have also been on the lookout for the effects off White-Nose Syndrome.  If bats were infected with the fungus, but survived the winter, they might show signs of wing damage, but our bats look great!!

We will continue to net throughout July and use the data to confirm the presence of the species that we have already detected with our acoustic monitors.  We are still on the look at for the largest bat in Ohio, the hoary bat (so called for the hoary, or frosted appearance of their fur), the evening bat and the silver-haired bat.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The summer begins with volunteer surveys

This summer we were fortunate enough to receive a grant from the National Science Foundation that allowed us to buy a few more Anabats (the acoustic devices that records the echolocation calls of the bats and then turns those calls into something we can use to determine the species that made the call). 

Above is the Anabat with a GPS unit attached.
The Anabat records the echolocation calls while at the same time
taking location data from the GPS.

We have partnered with The Metroparks of The Toledo area to conduct walking volunteer surveys using the Anabat equipment.  Twice a month in June and July volunteers at Wildwood, Oak Openings Preserve, and Secor Metroparks will walk predetermined transects and collect data using the Anabat.

Adam and Alex with Anabat
We began working with the Olander park system doing transects there as well, but our volunteers are from the class of Ms. Natalie Cook's at the Natural Science Technology Center.  High school students Alex, Adam (recent graduate), Jessie, and Ashley are our volunteers.

Ashley and Jessie with Anabat

We began our volunteer surveys this past week with great success!!  Volunteers walked between 45 minutes and an hour along trails within the parks.  I later downloaded the call files and analyzed each call to species.  We recorded all eight species that we know to be in the Oak Openings Region. 

Here are our results for the first week!
Wildwood Metropark volunteers recorded Big Brown, Little Brown, Red, Hoary, Evening and Tri-color bats. 
Oak Openings Preserve Metropark volunteers recorded Big Brown, Red, Silver-hair, Northern Long-ear, Evening and Tri-color bats.
Secor Metropark volunteers recorded Big Brown, Little Brown, Northern Long-ear, and Tri-color bats.
Olander Park volunteers recorded Big brown and Silver-hair bats.

Here are some examples of the visual representation of the calls that the Anabat supplies for us.

An Evening bat heard at
Oak Openings Preserve Metropark
An Hoary bat heard at Wildwood Metropark
A Big Brown bat heard at Secor Metropark

We will continue to analyze the data by using the GPS coordinates for each call to determine exactly where each species of bat was heard. Then we can make associations between habitat and presence of bats to determine possible preferred habitat within these parks.

Stay tuned . . . we begin netting on Tuesday night so hopefully we will have lots of great pictures!