WESPEN Online Order Form print this page
US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Partners with William Paterson University to Conduct Summer Bat Population Monitoring

Region 5, August 31, 2013
In April 2013, bat boxes were placed at 10 sites throughout the Management Area of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to be evaluated for their use by bats.  At each site, one box was placed in forest interior habitat and a second box was placed within 200 m, in forest edge habitat.
In April 2013, bat boxes were placed at 10 sites throughout the Management Area of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to be evaluated for their use by bats. At each site, one box was placed in forest interior habitat and a second box was placed within 200 m, in forest edge habitat. - Photo Credit: n/a
Bat roosting in one of 20 bat boxes established across the refuge’s Management Area.  While continued monitoring of bat communities would ideally include a combination of mist netting, acoustic monitoring, and radio-telemetry, additional techniques, such as monitoring bat boxes, may supplement or reduce the need for other types of surveys, depending on specific research and management objectives.
Bat roosting in one of 20 bat boxes established across the refuge’s Management Area. While continued monitoring of bat communities would ideally include a combination of mist netting, acoustic monitoring, and radio-telemetry, additional techniques, such as monitoring bat boxes, may supplement or reduce the need for other types of surveys, depending on specific research and management objectives. - Photo Credit: n/a

The 2013 summer bat monitoring effort has been completed at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. This year monitoring was carried out as part of a cooperative effort between the refuge and researchers Dr. Lance Risley and graduate student Melissa Gallo of William Paterson University. Following resident bat inventory protocols for Northeast Region  National Wildlife Refuges, Melissa conducted mobile and stationary acoustic surveys throughout the refuge’s management area to evaluate use by bats and monitor trends in bat activity. Additionally, based on recommendations from the 2012 monitoring effort, in April, 2013, paired bat boxes were placed at 10 sites to evaluate as a potential conservation tool and supplemental population monitoring technique. Beginning mid-May, Melissa monitored bat boxes weekly for any sign of bat activity. To aid in evaluating use of boxes by bats, several of the sites also served as sampling points for the stationary acoustic survey effort. This first year of monitoring, three of the boxes were used by bats and acoustic bat activity was document at all sites surveyed. Plans are to monitor the bat boxes for multiple years to determine the effectiveness of these structures at attracting rare bats as well as their usefulness as a management tool.

Contact Info: Steve Henry, 973-425-1222 x-157, steven_s_henry@fws.gov