Riveredge is proud to be participating in the Wisconsin Bat Monitoring Program! Through this program, we will be able to survey the RNC bat population, gain a better understanding of the species and locations of bats using the sanctuary, and will contribute to a growing statewide bat database.

Acoustic Monitoring

(Source: WI DNR’s Wisconsin Bat Program)

Bats in Wisconsin use echolocation to navigate and hunt. Bat echolocation is in the ultrasonic range which means it is above human hearing. How bats can fly in complete darkness remained a mystery until the 1930s when scientists discovered that bats use echolocation. Special ultrasonic detection equipment was developed and opened a whole new method for studying bats.

Bat frequencies recorded with an acoustic monitoring  Anabat detector

Bat frequencies recorded with an acoustic monitoring Anabat detector

To conduct acoustic bat surveys in Wisconsin, volunteers are trained to use handheld        ultrasonic detectors, or bat detectors as they are affectionately called. The system                consists of a detector that records the ultrasound, a PDA that displays the bat calls on a      graph of frequency over time, and a GPS unit that tracks the route taken and pinpoints        each bat call. Data is saved onto the PDA and analyzed in the office. Just like birds, bat        species have different calls from each other. By looking at the frequency, shape and             other characteristics of calls, the WBP can identify the species of bat that was recorded.

Riveredge conducted an acoustic bat monitoring training followed by our first programmatic survey on Tuesday, May 14th, 2012. Click on the  link below to see what     we found!

1st Bat Survey conducted at Riveredge in May, 2012.

1st Bat Survey conducted at Riveredge in May, 2012.

Go to http://wiatri.net/Inventory/Bats/Monitoring/Acoustics/Mobile/SurveyResults/ for a key to the maps.

For more information on the Wisconsin Bat Monitoring Program and how acoustic bat monitoring works go to http://wiatri.net/inventory/bats/index.cfm.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a citizen monitor, surveying the bat population at Riveredge, contact Mandie Zopp at mzopp@riveredge.us