Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘bats’

Tracking a Federally Listed Bat Species across New Jersey

Friday, August 14th, 2015
An Update on CWF’s Northern long-eared Bat Statewide Mist Netting Surveys

by Stephanie Feigin, Wildlife Ecologist

Female Northern long eared bat (c) Ethan Gilardi

Female Northern long eared bat (c) Ethan Gilardi

White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease, has devastated bat populations across the country. Over six million bats have been killed by the disease, which has spread to over 25 states and five Canadian provinces. The Northern long-eared bat is one of the species most affected by WNS, suffering from an overwhelming 99% reduction in numbers in WNS-affected areas.

Stephanie Feigin checks wing of a little brown bat for signs of white nose syndrome scarring. (c) Ethan Gilardi

Stephanie Feigin checks wing of a Northern long-eared bat for signs of white nose syndrome scarring. (c) Ethan Gilardi

As a result, in April 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Northern long-eared bat as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

 

This summer, CWF Wildlife Ecologist Stephanie Feigin teamed up with NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife and Rutgers University to conduct a statewide mist netting and radio telemetry project to learn more about the summer distribution and habitat selection of Northern long-eared bats; an important project that can shed light on a species we know all too little about.

 

Mist-netting surveys began the week of June 1 and continued through the beginning of August. Survey sites included five state parks and Wildlife Management Areas across the state:

  • Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area
  • Rockaway River Wildlife Management Area
  • Washington Crossing State Park/Alexauken Creek Wildlife Management Area
  • Brendan Byrne State Forest
  • Wharton State Forest

 

The team, directed by Feigin, conducted a total of 19 netting nights and 10 tracking days, leading to a total of 63 bats caught, four of which were Northern long-eared bats. All four of the Northern long-eared bats received radio transmitters and were tracked everyday until the transmitter fell off.

Female Northern long-eared bat with transmitter attached to her back. (c) Stephanie Feigin

Female Northern long-eared bat with transmitter attached to her back. (c) Stephanie Feigin

After a long night of netting (5pm-2am) the team would set out the next day to track the bat caught the night before. This, however, was not an easy task. The maximum distance the antenna can receive a signal from the transmitter is ¾ of a mile (in perfect conditions). Though tough, the team was able to track the bats to five different roost sites including under the cedar siding of two homes, a narrow four foot stump, a large standing dead pitch pine, and another pitch pine in a recently burned forested area.

 

The mist netting and tracking study allowed us to collect important data on Northern long-eared bat populations throughout New Jersey. The data collected on habitat requirements and roost locations will help guide our conservation decisions. Ultimately, the study will allow us to better protect the remaining population of Northern-long eared bats in the Garden State.

Amanda Bevan, Rutgers University graduate student, scans area with ATS scanning receiver and Yagi 3-element antenna for a signal from the transmitter (c) Stephanie Feigin

Amanda Bevan, Rutgers University graduate student, scans area with ATS scanning receiver and Yagi 3-element antenna for a signal from the transmitter (c) Stephanie Feigin

This work was made possible with the support from the Franklin Parker Conservation Grants, EarthColor, and the Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program. Thank you to our supporters!

Learn more:

 

Stephanie Feigin is a Wildlife Ecologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation Celebrates Bat Appreciation Day!

Friday, April 17th, 2015
Happy Bat Appreciation Day!

By: Stephanie Feigin, Wildlife Ecologist

Today, Friday, April 17 is Bat Appreciation Day 2015. Join Conserve Wildlife Foundation in celebrating the beloved bats of New Jersey today and every day.

 

Bats are one of the most beneficial animals to humans. They provide important economic and ecological benefits from eating the bothersome pests like mosquitoes, to devouring the insects that also destroy our agricultural and forest land.

 

Bats save us millions of dollars in damage each year and play essential roles in keeping populations of night-flying insects in check. Just one bat can eat up to 3,000 insects in a short period of time, and large colonies catch tons of insects nightly.

 

Unfortunately, these amazing animals continue to face many threats including habitat loss and the devastating disease, White-nose Syndrome. White-nose syndrome, alone, can kill 90-100% of bats in affected caves.

 

Conserve Wildlife Foundation works hard to protect New Jersey’s bats through on-going research, education and outreach. We provide homes for evicted bats with our Bats in Buildings project as well as collect and record valuable data about the state’s bat population with our Summer Bat Count project, and our acoustic bat surveys.

 

New in 2015, Conserve Wildlife Foundation will conduct surveys to learn more about the summer distribution and habitat of Northern long-Eared Bats, a species listed under the Endangered Species Act this month.

 

Also this month, the Bat Cam bats have returned for the spring and summer! We are excited to follow this colony throughout the season and highlight special moments of their lives.

 

Today, on Bat Appreciation Day, consider supporting Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Bat Project. Help us help New Jersey’s bats not only survive, but thrive in the Garden State.

Stephanie Feigin is the Wildlife Ecologist for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Northern Long-Eared Bat Protected Under Endangered Species Act

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announced Bat as Threatened, Primarily Due to White-Nose Syndrome

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

Northern Long-Eared Bat © Lance Risley

Remember back in late November when we wrote a blog encouraging our supporters to help the Northern Long-Eared Bat become listed as an Endangered Species? Thanks to those of you who submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was announced today that the Northern Long-Eared Bat will be listed as threatened and protected under the Endangered Species Act.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has cited declines caused by White-Nose Syndrome as well as continued spread of the disease, as the primary threat to the species. Under the protections of the Endangered Species Act, the Northern Long-Eared Bat now has increased priority for funds, grants, and recovery opportunities.

 

Also announced today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an interim 4(d) rule that will provide maximum protection to the Northern Long-Eared Bat in areas where their populations have drastically declined due to White-Nose Syndrome, but will limit regulatory burden on the public in parts of the country where the bat species is not affected by the disease and the populations are stable. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites the public to comment on this interim rule until July 1, 2015.

 

Learn more about the listing and 4(d) rule:

 

CWF Field Guide: learn more about the Northern Long-eared Bat

 

How Can You Help Protect Northern Long-Eared Bats?

  • Do Not Disturb Hibernating Bats
  • Leave Dead and Dying Trees Standing: Where possible and not a safety hazard, leave dead or dying trees on your property. Northern long-eared bats and many other animals use these trees.
  • Install a Bat Box: Dead and dying trees are usually not left standing, so trees suitable for roosting may be in short supply and bat boxes can provide additional roost sites.
  • Get involved with Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Bat Project!

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey “2014 Annual Report” Released

Friday, March 27th, 2015

CWF Releases its First Annual Report Ever Using a Story Map Format: “2014 Annual Report

By David Wheeler, Executive Director

Technology has proven to be vital to Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s work protecting rare wildlife species over the years. Our biologists depend greatly on modern technologies to band, track, and share online the journeys of wildlife. Our webcams broadcast the most intimate behaviors of nesting birds and bats across the web. And we seek out ever-evolving communications technologies to spread the word about the inspiring stories of wildlife, from social media and infographs to e-books and Story Maps. These technologies offer newfound abilities to share complex data on multiple levels, while still incorporating the awe-inspiring photography and videos that bring wildlife’s stories to life.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey is excited to offer our 2014 Annual Report in a unique format that utilizes one of those technologies – Story Maps. In the past year, we have explored the wonders of American oystercatchers with our first Story Map – and now the annual report allows all of our projects to be highlighted in this interactive format.

A screen capture of one of the pages of the CWF 2014 Annual Report Story Map.

A screen capture of one of the pages of the CWF 2014 Annual Report Story Map.

Visit the multiple pages within this Story Map to learn about Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s many projects and partnerships in 2014, and the imperiled wildlife species in need of our help. Find examples of the innovative and dedicated leadership of our biologists and volunteers. And take an online journey across the state to learn how our projects made a difference in all corners of New Jersey in 2014 – a great year for wildlife in the Garden State!


 

Photos From the Field: Little Brown Bats in Hibernia Mine

Friday, March 13th, 2015
Data Collected for White-nose Syndrome Research

By: Stephanie Feigin, Wildlife Ecologist 

This week, Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Ecologist Stephanie Feigin went into Hibernia Mine with New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife Endangered Species and Nongame Program (ENSP) Biologist MacKenzie Hall and John Gumbs with BATS Research Center. The group collected data for important research studies on the fungus responsible for White-nose Syndrome (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) and White-nose Syndrome itself. The data will be used in a UC Santa Cruz University study led by Dr. Winifred Frick, as well as a Rutgers University study led by 2014 Women & Wildlife Education Award Winner Dr. Brooke Maslo.

Hibernia Mine (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine Entrence (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine Entrance (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine Entrance from Inside Cave (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine Entrance from Inside Cave (c) Stephanie Feigin

Stalagmites in Hibernia Mine (c) Stephanie Feigin

Stalagmites in Hibernia Mine (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bats (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bats (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown being swabbed for study (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown being swabbed for study (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

ENSP Biologist MacKenzie Hall with Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bats (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bats (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat shows significant signs of White Nose Syndrome on wings and nose (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat shows significant signs of White Nose Syndrome on wings and nose (c) Stephanie Feigin

CWF Wildlife Ecologist Stephanie Feigin holding Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

CWF Wildlife Ecologist Stephanie Feigin holding Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

Learn more:

 

Stephanie Feigin is a Wildlife Ecologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

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