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.
(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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org