Conserve Wildlife Blog

Summer Survey Yields 79 Bats

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!

Most of the captures in 2022 were big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) and Eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis). There were 64 big brown bats, totaling 81% of captures. Big brown bats are the most common species of insectivorous bat in North America, relatively large with long, silky fur, dark skin, and a wide nose. Eastern red bats are also widespread across Eastern North America and are distinguished by their orange fur and furred tail membrane. There were 14 Eastern red bat captures.

Aside from the common big brown and Eastern red bat captures, there was one special bat that made its way into the top of our net 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. Stay tuned to find out more about this exciting capture!

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One Response to “Summer Survey Yields 79 Bats”

  1. Spike says:

    A bit of good news concerning bats is always better than none!(imo)
    Always so grateful for the amount of time,work,dedication and care put forth.

    Thanks for an update that also came along with a bit of hope IE: 1O more than last count.
    Keep up the amazing work!