Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘bats’

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.

 

Help Northern Long-Eared Bats Become Listed as Endangered Species

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

Photo Credit: MacKenzie Hall

Photo Credit: MacKenzie Hall

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the public comment period on a proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Comments will be accepted through Thursday, December 18, 2014.

 

The public is invited to submit comments one of two ways:

(1)  Electronically:  Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov.  In the Search box, enter Docket No. FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

(2)  By hard copy:  Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

During the previous comment period, from June 30 to August 29, 2014, USFWS received over 65,800 comments on this issue!

 

Why is it so important?

The Northern Long Eared Bat, like many other bat species in the United States, is in danger of extinction due to White-Nose Syndrome, impacts to hibernacula, summer habitat loss and wind farm operation. Listing a species as endangered, under the protections of the Act, increases the priority of the species for funds, grants, and recovery opportunities.

 

How Else Can You Help Protect Northern Long-Eared Bats?
These tips were pulled from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Northern Long-Eared Bat Fact Sheet:

  • 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.

 

Learn more:

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

Read All About It: Newsworthy BatCam Big Brown Bats

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications CoordinatorStephanieBatCamABC7

BatCam, the live-action camera that captures a colony of big brown bats living in a family home in Flemington, received plenty of media attention this week. BatCam is hosted on Conserve Wildlife Foundation‘s website, thanks to the Williams family.

The bats’ unusual choice of a summer roost has given this family a unique peek at their lives, from knowing exactly when the bats return from hibernation each spring, to watching them give birth and care for their pups though the summer.

The bats also caught the attention of New Jersey media. Read about the colony of big brown bats:

Learn more about Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s work to help protect NJ’s bat population:

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

Identifying with New Jersey’s Fascinating Bats

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Hard to believe, but October is already here! And that can only mean one thing – bats! Everyday throughout the month of October, follow CWF on social media and our blog to fly high with these incredible creatures of the night! Each day we will have fun facts, quizzes, and beautiful photos highlighting these amazing animals and the work CWF does to protect them.

Our previous coverage included an overview of bats in New Jersey from our biologist, a look into the threats bats are facing today, a reality check on some myths and legends surrounding bats, and shared some examples in ways you can get involved in our efforts to save bats. This week, for the final week of October, join CWF bat biologist Stephanie Feigin in the field! 

Make sure to follow us everyday on Facebook and Twitter and read our blog every Friday for our #31daysofbats!


by Stephanie Feigin

Stephanie Feigin and MacKenzie Hall monitoring a bat roost in an attic

Stephanie Feigin and MacKenzie Hall monitoring a bat roost in an attic

I think it is surprising how little people know about bats considering  how beneficial they are to humans. From eating the bugs that bite us and reducing the need for pesticides on our farms, to helping doctors learn the advantages of echolocation to the blind, knowledge of these important creatures should be at least as common as the sight of them flying overhead. Since I have started working on Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s bat projects, I have noticed just how fascinated people can be with bats, and how excited they are to learn more about these elusive creatures of the night.

In giving presentations on bats in New Jersey, I realize how many people still believe the myths about bats and generally regard them as spooky or creepy, not beneficial and cute I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences in order to correct the many misconceptions.The first time I saw a bat it was hiding behind a beam in the attic of an old church. I was shocked at how adorable and small the bat was, and I still get that same feeling every time I see some tiny bat ears poking out over top of a beam or tiny bat eyes looking back at me.

Every time I go out, whether it is to monitor a site where CWF has installed bat houses and do a bat count, or to assist other researchers in a banding survey of bats getting ready to hibernate, or even just to walk along the canal by my house with the acoustic detector, I have felt a connection to these animals. I love the dynamics of their roosts, the way they snuggle together for warmth, and the little chatter sounds they make when they are getting ready to go out to hunt for the night.

Keeled calcar on Indiana bat (c) MacKenzie Hall

Keeled calcar on Indiana bat (c) MacKenzie Hall

There is so much to learn and understand about bats. One thing I have especially loved learning is the subtle differences between one bat species from the next. Have you ever looked up and seen a bat flying overhead? But instead of just saying, “Hey, that’s a bat!” Have you ever spent time thinking, “I wonder what type of bat that is?” Well I have, and sometimes it is not that easy to decipher. We have nine different bat species in New Jersey. Some of these are easier to identify than others. The hoary bat, for example, is easily identified because it is largest bat in New Jersey, with bodies measuring from 5 to 6 inches and wingspans reaching up to 17 inches. These bats also have a lower frequency of call, making it easy to read on a sonogram.

Some of our other bat species however, possess very subtle and small differences, making them much harder to distinguish from one another. All four of these species are “cousins” and are part of the Myotis genus. In New Jersey, the bats in the Myotis genus are the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalist), the long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), and the eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii).

Indiana bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

Indiana bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

In my opinion, it is the hardest to identify Indiana bats from little brown bats. One way to do this is by the length of their toe hairs. Indiana bats will have smaller toe hairs than the little brown bats, and they will not extend past their toenails. Indiana bats also have a keeled calcar, or a foot spur of cartilage, that supports the membrane between the foot and tail. This looks like a tiny strip of extra skin on the membrane between the bat’s foot and tail.

Another way to identify which bats are in the area is with the use of an acoustic detector. All of the myotis bats have very similar calls, all in the same frequency range, making it very hard to identify one bat from the other on a sonogram. Even the computer program we use will not take a guess as to which myotis it is because their calls are so similar! Since the first time I went out with the acoustic detector, I have been enthralled by the different chatters of the bats, from the feeding buzz to their chatters to each other while flying and hunting for food. I have gained a new perspective on the world of bats and me developed a true connection to these animals.

Big brown bats (c) MacKenzie Hall

Big brown bats (c) MacKenzie Hall

It is exciting to be a part of the bat projects at CWF and to have the opportunity to understand bats further, help research and implement ways to protect them, and educate the public about who these animals really are. They are not creepy, scary rodents who will attack you and fly into your hair. They are adorable, helpful mammals that I think everyone can find a way to appreciate, just like I have.

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