Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Bats’ Category

Camera Roll Reveal – Summer Bat Surveys

Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

by Meaghan Lyon

The CWF team chose some of their favorite photos taken during their summer bat surveys to share. Enjoy this visual journey into the field to see what a night of mist net surveys looks like.


The CWF Team, Meaghan Lyon, Leah Wells, and Sherry Tirgrath, deploy the mist net at sunset. The long yellow poles are used to raise the net up to 5 meters high.

Leah extracts a bat from the mist net with the assistance of Meaghan. Sometimes crochet hooks are used to help remove the fine netting from the bat. Thick deerskin gloves are always worn to protect from sharp teeth!

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An Exciting Catch- the Hoary Bat!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

By Meaghan Lyon

As mentioned in the previous weeks, there was one special bat that made its way into the top of our net during the 2022 bat field season that left us overjoyed! One juvenile, female hoary bat (Aeorestes cinereus) was captured during our last week of surveying. This is only the second time this bat has been captured at this site in the Pinelands. Even though the hoary bat is not an endangered species, this is a rare capture for our team because the species is generally flies high and our nets only go as high as 5.5 meters. Additionally, the habitat we survey is more suited to the Northern long-eared bat which like densely cluttered forests, whereas the hoary bat typically is found on the edges of open fields.

Biologist Leah Wells holds a hoary bat.
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Summer Survey Yields 79 Bats

Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

by Meaghan Lyon

Bands, like the one in this photo, help us to determine how fidelic bats are to their foraging and breeding areas.

During the past two months, CWF biologists have spent many late nights surveying for bats in the Pinelands! A typical survey night starts just before sundown with setting up expansive nets across corridors in the woods. In the dark, these fine threaded nets are nearly invisible to bats and the occasional flying squirrel or whip-poor-will. As the sun sets, the bats emerge, rushing through the sky to their foraging grounds. Every ten minutes, from sunset till 2am, the nets are checked, and any captured bats are safely extracted to then be identified, weighed, and measured.

               Over the course of ten nights during the 2022 summer mist netting surveys, 79 bats were captured! That’s 30 more bats than were captured in 2021 in the same area of the Pinelands! Unfortunately, none of our target species like Northern long-eared bat or little brown bat were captured. Even though our survey goals were not met, there was still some exciting news throughout the season like recaptured bats from previous survey years. One recaptured bat was banded in 2018 which provides some insight into how site fidelic these bats can be to their foraging and breeding areas!

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Special Guests During Bat Survey Nights

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

by Leah Wells

The Bat Team setting up a mist-net in the Pine Barrens

Surveying for bats means staying up late and spending a lot of time in the dark. Our evenings begin a few hours before sunset, giving us just enough time to set up for the night. We start off by scouting locations to set up our mist-nets which we use to capture bats. These fine nets, ranging from 8 – 30 ft across and 16 ft high, are attached to tall poles stationed along corridors which bats often use to forage for food. With our nets ready to be deployed, we use the last of the daylight to set up our work station where we will process the bats we hopefully catch.

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Summer Mist Netting Surveys for Northern long-eared bat Come Up Short Handed

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022

by Meaghan Lyon

Biologists Leah Wells and Meaghan Lyon banding a Big Brown Bat

Since 2018, CWF has partnered with the USFWS New Jersey Field Office in completing summer mist netting surveys for bats in the Pinelands. The goal of these surveys is to capture the federally threatened Northern long-eared bat and track these bats to maternity roosts.

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