Summer surveys are most often conducted for one or more of the following reasons:
- Cataloging species present in areas that will be impacted with new construction.
- Searching for threatened or endangered species in areas prior to timber sales or development.
- Gaining baseline data in a previously understudied region or on a rare species.
Most surveys can only be done at specific times of the year, so pre planning is a must. BCM offers several levels of service, including expert technical assistance to work with your existing staff, equipment furnishing, and complete project management. Please contact John Chenger, firstname.lastname@example.org, for a quote.
Previous clients include:
- PA Department of Transportation
- PA Turnpike Commission
- WV Department of Transportation
- USDA Forest Service
- US Army
- US Army Corps of Engineers
- General consulting firms
- US Fish and Wildlife Service
- Natural gas corporations
- The Heritage Conservancy
- The Nature Conservancy
- Wind energy corporations
- Vermont Fish and Wildlife
- Bat Conservation International
The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) is a rare woodland bat species with documented occurrences in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region; however, little survey data is available for this species. Indiana bats hibernate in caves and abandoned deep mines during the winter months (November-March), and use a variety of upland, wetland, and riparian habitats during the spring, summer, and fall. Female Indiana bats form nursery colonies under the exfoliating bark of a variety of tree species. Land clearing may adversely affect roosting bats or the quality of foraging habitat. In order to protect suitable habitat, periodic surveys for these individuals are needed. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) often request that the site developer conduct a summer Indiana bat survey between May 15 and August 15.
We can react very quickly to get your mist netting needs filled. We sample according to guidelines set up in the draft Indiana bat recovery plan, the local US Fish and Wildlife Service office, and your state wildlife agency. Working with these guidelines and agencies we are able to keep you in compliance. In the event of an Indiana bat capture, many states require the immediate deployment of radio telemetry tracking techniques to determine how the roosting and foraging patterns relate to your development. We thoroughly document all captured threatened and endangered bats with sharp, properly exposed macro photography so there is never a question of identification. We can obtain wildlife collecting permits for any state and professionally manage five or more net sites simultaneously to complete any size project before the season deadline.
Bat Radio Telemetry
Need to pin down that populations critical habitat? We track bats and since 2000 have had more spring radio telemetry experience with Indiana bats than any other consultant in the world. Writing land management plans without knowing the roosting habitat for rare and endangered bats can boil down to guesswork. We mist net or harp trap the animals then track them to fill the gaps in your roost data. Any bat telemetry project is a combination of carefully maintained equipment, specifically trained observers, persistence, and an occasional dose of luck. Consider the radio signal used to track bats can only be detected from 1/4 mile to up to 3 miles on the ground, and the bat easily flies 25 mph unobstructed by the terrain. During migration, a single bat can fly 60 miles nonstop. Inexperienced, disorganized, and ill-equipped telemetry crews at best simply lose the animal almost immediately wasting time and your money. At worst they accidentally kill bats triggering federal investigations. BCM is undoubtedly better equipped for bat radio telemetry than most agencies and private companies. Since 2000 we have participated in bleeding edge Indiana bat tracking efforts in PA, NJ, NY, MD, IA, OH, and VT. We have deployed as many as nine identically outfitted and coordinated mobile receiver teams in specially outfitted vehicles, and can staff and outfit two tracking aircraft simultaneously if need be. These surveys are best planned in conjunction with advisement from the regional US Fish and Wildlife Service office and state wildlife agency. Transmitters of the size that will best suit the bat you are planning on tracking can take three months to receive after placing an order, so plan ahead. If your objective is to determine where Indiana bats are migrating to or just pin down summer foraging routes and roosts for any bat, BCM will ensure that your project is an over the top success.
Mist net surveys alone may leave some bat species in your sample area under-represented. Adding an acoustic monitoring component can help draw a more complete picture of your study area when used correctly. A few years ago acoustic systems were crippled by bulky equipment and frustratingly user-unfriendly software. Alternatives to the ANABAT system exist today that push closer to the goal of identifying a free flying bat to species based on a digital recording. Besides supplementing a traditional net survey, acoustic recorders and good software have a number of other applications. Transect monitoring with low staff overhead is now possible. It is also very easy to sample activity at several mine or cave entrances at once to determine which is suitable for follow up trapping. Just adding a single detector to an existing net survey for baseline data often adds an extra bat species or two that would otherwise be unobserved. BCM can assist with equipment and software demonstrations, techniques for capturing reference calls, call analysis, survey logistics, and management. If you would like to build a call library for your area, incorporate acoustic monitoring into your next net survey, and get involved with this bleeding edge technology, we would be happy to assist.