Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘bats’

Fact or Myth? The Ecological Importance of Bats

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

by Meaghan Lyon, Wildlife Biologist

It’s that time of year again, the days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and creatures of the night are lurking behind shadowy corners. As Halloween approaches one animal comes to the forefront of everyone’s mind – bats.

Bats have been misunderstood by humans for many years and are still among the most persecuted animals on earth. In many parts of the world, bats are killed due to fear or harmful myths that make them seem scary or even dangerous. However, the fact is that bats are one of the most beneficial animals to humans.

Photo Caption: Bats are in the order Chiroptera, meaning “Hand-wing”. This skeleton shows how the wing of bats has a very similar structure to that of the human hand.
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Federal Uplisting of the Northern Long-eared Bat

Friday, October 7th, 2022

by Meaghan Lyon, Wildlife Biologist

The USFWS recently proposed the uplisting of the Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) from a threatened to an endangered species. The Northern long-eared bat is in the genus Myotis, identifiable by its small size and long ears. It can be found in forested environments across the northeastern United States and overwintering in caves or mines. This species was first listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2015.

The Northern Long-eared 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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