Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Summer Bat Count’

Collaborative Projects Gather Data About Bats in the Garden State

Friday, August 18th, 2023

by Leah Wells, Assistant Wildlife Biologist

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) works hard every summer to protect New Jersey’s bats by employing continuous research, education and outreach endeavors. Our Summer Bat Count project and Mobile Acoustic Surveys, both in collaboration with the State’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP), are essential components of these efforts, enabling us to gather and document crucial information about bat populations within the state.

Since 2003, the Summer Bat Count project has relied upon the commitment of dedicated volunteers. Equipped with only a fresh set of eyes, these volunteers tally bat populations at known summer roost sites, whether it be a bat house, attic, bridge or church. The project’s primary goal is to gain a deeper insight into the distribution of bats across the state, their preferred roosting conditions and the fluctuations in population over time. While the outcomes of this year’s survey are still pending, emergence surveys during the 2022 maternity season revealed a noteworthy increase in bats for a particular roost in Warren County. This roost has been consistently monitored, with data dating back before the introduction of White-nose Syndrome.

Big brown bats inside a bat house.

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.

Eagle Scout helps NJ’s bats

Monday, January 3rd, 2011
Bat houses provide roosting and maternity sites in South Jersey

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Nicolas built 60 bat houses with materials that were donated to help NJ's bats. Image courtesy Dan Fuzer

New Jersey’s bats got some new maternity and roosting sites near Mt. Holly and the Rancocas Creek late last year. A Boy Scout, Nicolas Fuzer, chose to construct and install bat houses for his Eagle Scout Project after learning more about bats and the perils they face including White-nose syndrome. He hopes that by building and installing these houses NJ’s bats will not have a problem finding adequate areas to roost and reproduce.

Amazingly enough, Nicolas completed the construction of a total of 60 bat houses with the help of his fellow Scouts. He was planning on installing all of the bat houses, some with our help. But after realizing the daunting task of finding suitable habitat and installing all 60 of the bat houses, he decided to donate some to CWF. He installed 20 of houses in suitable habitat near the Rancocas Creek.

The donated bat houses will be installed in areas where we would like to enhance roosting habitat or maternity sites. There is a possibility for us to give away some bat houses to homeowners who 1) Have suitable habitat, i.e. a structure/building that has south/southwest exposure with full sun and at least a 15ft. drop and 2) would participate in our Summer Bat Count where volunteers count bats as they emerge from their roost sites at dusk. If you’re interested in obtaining a bat house from CWF, please contact me for more information.

Thank you Nicolas for all of your hard work and generous donation!!

Benefits of Bats

Nicholas installs a bat house as part of his Eagle Scout Project. Image courtesy Dan Fuzer

Bats have a reputation as being spooky or even dangerous, but they are actually some of the most beneficial animals to people. All of New Jersey’s bats are insectivores. They feed on night-flying insects, including the pesty mosquitoes. A single little brown bat can eat 3,000 mosquito-sized insects a night, and a colony of 150 big brown bats can eat enough cucumber beetles to save farmers almost a billion dollars annually in crop damages and pesticide costs. Without bats, we would be more dependent on toxic chemicals to control unwanted insects. Some garden pests even detect the sounds that bats make while feeding and will avoid areas where bats are present. In turn, guano (bat droppings) makes for a terrific garden fertilizer!

In other areas of the world, bats play a major role in pollinating flowers and dispersing seeds for plants such as bananas, avocados, cashews, and mangoes. By dispersing a wide variety of plant seeds over open areas, bats also help to restore the tropical rainforests following logging, fire, and other disturbances.

Many scientific advancements are owed to bats as well: navigational aids for the blind, blood-clot medication, artificial insemination techniques, low-temperature surgery on people, and military sonar have all been inspired by our night-flying friends.

Learn More:

Photo from the Field

Thursday, August 12th, 2010
Counting bats or the lack thereof

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

It is clear to me that White-nose syndrome (WNS) has decimated a large portion of the bat population in New Jersey, or at least at a site where I count bats for the Summer Bat Count. In 2008 (before WNS), I counted 261 bats at the Chatsworth General Store in August. Counting bats may seem like a daunting feat, but at dusk (when there is still a little light) the bats fly out of their daytime roosts. Sometimes, 1-2 at a time or in bursts of 3-4 or more. In August 2009, I counted 169 bats at the store. This past Sunday, I only counted 23 bats. To say the least these results are alarming. I hope that at other locations in New Jersey people are still seeing bats and I hope that WNS does not continue to decimate the population.

A photo of the bat houses installed on the Chatsworth General Store where many of the bats roost during the day. Many more used to roost in the attic. This image was captured using a technique referred to as HDR. © Ben Wurst.