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Bat Study Techniques Workshop
With Special Focus on the Endangered Indiana Bat
Laurel Caverns Geological Park • August 21-23, 2009

In response to growing needs for bat studies, Bat Conservation International, Inc., Bat Conservation and Management, Inc., the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, and Laurel Caverns Geological Park, are hosting a Bat Study Techniques Workshop at Laurel Caverns, a 435-acre park surrounded by state forest and state game lands in Pennsylvania’s scenic Allegheny Mountain Region. The park is likely home to all nine species of bats found in the Northeastern U.S. and is a historic Indiana bat wintering site. This Study Techniques Workshop highlights current bat conservation and research techniques, especially those that will add to the body of knowledge regarding Indiana bat presence, roosting, and migratory behavior in the region.

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Bat Study Techniques
Workshop participants will receive hands-on assembly experience with single-, double-, and triple-high mist nets as well as harp traps. Advanced capture techniques involving arrays of multiple nets and traps will be demonstrated each night. Evening activities include collecting, handling, identifying, banding, recording echolocation calls, and data processing for captured bats. Proof of current rabies titer is required for participants to handle bats.

In addition, hands-on radio telemetry techniques will be high lighted, including a simulated tracking exercise to replicate what is currently known about Indiana myotis behavior. In the event of a suitable Indiana bat capture, interested participants will get to radio track the animal as it forages and to determine its day roost. BCM staff will be coordinating any live radio tracking efforts during the course. Custom mobile telemetry platforms will be available for both the simulated and live activities.

.John Chenger of Bat Conservation and Management, Inc., will be leading a team of BCM staff during all study and capture technique components at this workshop. He has been catching bats for over 17 years and radio tracking bats since 2000. In 2007 and 2008 alone, he and his staff have conducted over 500 nights of netting and trapping in conjunction with surveys and monitoring projects in six states. Also, in 2008 BCM completed three Indiana bat and two eastern small-footed bat radio telemetry studies.

This workshop is co-led by Janet Tyburec, B.A., (Trinity University, San Antonio TX). Janet was Director of Education Programs at Bat Conservation International, Inc. (Austin TX), for 15 years. She is currently a contract instructor for Bat Conservation International’s “Bat Conservation and Management Training Workshops” in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and California where she teaches wildlife biologists, educators, and other professionals field skills for bat research and conservation. She’s worked in Pennsylvania since 1994 and dreams about the day that Myotis sodalis can be down-listed.

Additional guest speakers include Ed Arnett, one of the leading experts in the world today studying bats and wind power interactions, and Aura Stauffer, Wildlife Biologist from the PA Bureau of Forestry.

The three-day, three-night agenda contains a comprehensive sampling of bat conservation and research techniques and Indiana myotis case studies.

One weekend session: August 21-23, 2009 (Friday thru Sunday). Class size: Limited to 25 students. Location: Laurel Caverns Geological Park, Farmington, PA.

Program
Lectures/Discussions:
Capturing Bats with Mist Nets, Identifying Northeastern Bats, Data Recording and Bat Processing, Deploying Mist Nets, Identifying Threats to Bats, Bat Detectors and Acoustic Monitoring, Capturing Bats with Harp Traps, Setting Harp Traps, Advanced Bat Research Techniques, Studying Bats with Radio Telemetry, Assessing Bat Habitats, Assessing Bat Hibernacula, Managing Cave and Mine Habitats, Bat Interactions with Wind Turbines, Case Studies of Indiana Bat Migration Studies, and Summer Indiana Bat Surveys in southwestern PA.

Demonstrations: Single-, double-, and triple-high mist net deployment, Triple-high mist net rigging and use, Harp trap assembly and deployment, Acoustic monitoring techniques using AnaBat (FD) and Pettersson (TE) detectors, Echolocation call recording using AnaBat and SonoBat software programs, Hand-release protocols for obtaining reference calls of bats including light-tagging and zip-lining, Simulated radio-tracking demonstrations for locating bat roosts, Simulated radio-tracking demonstrations for following foraging and/or migrating bats, and Radio-transmitter activation procedures.
 
Field Trips: How to: Assess habitat for netting and trapping activities, Conduct evening field inventories using nets, traps, and acoustic captures, Perform radio-tracking simulations as listed above, and Coordinate bat identification and data processing.

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Bat Study Techniques Workshop

Location: Laurel Caverns Geological Park, Farmington PA

Dates: August 21-23, 2009 (Friday thru Sunday). Program runs from 9:00AM to midnight (or later) each day.

Lodging: Campsite and small trailer facilities are available at Laurel Caverns for no additional charge, for this event only. The closest motel is the Summit Hotel and the Lodge at Chalk Hill (see registration form for details). In nearby Uniontown, PA, additional lodging is available at Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, and Super 8 Motel, less than 20 minutes away.

Equipment: Participants need to bring appropriate field gear, including hiking boots, bat-handling gloves, a headlamp with batteries, a personal pack, and a water bottle. We may be netting over shallow streams so appropriate footwear is suggested. To handle bats during the course, participants must provide adequate proof of rabies per-exposure vaccination.

For our special cave tour you should also have a backup light, old long pants, an old sweatshirt or coveralls, gloves, and perhaps kneepads. A helmet will be provided if needed. A basic level of fitness is required to explore the Lower Cave.

Meals: Hearty lunches on 21, 22, and 23 August and dinners on 21 and 22 August are included with the registration fee (special dietary needs may be accommodated with advance notice see registration form).

Materials: Registration fee includes workshop materials, references, resources, meals as listed above, and a curriculum that covers all agenda topics.

Fee: $479.00