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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Bat Acoustic Training in Ohio

Region 3, May 28, 2014
An AnaBat acoustic detector is used to detect bat calls at Battelle Darby Creek MetroPark.
An AnaBat acoustic detector is used to detect bat calls at Battelle Darby Creek MetroPark. - Photo Credit: n/a

The Ohio Ecological Services field office spends a considerable amount of time evaluating project impacts to the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), a federally listed endangered species. This species and other cave-dwelling species are rapidly declining due to white-nose syndrome, making detection of bats using traditional mist netting surveys more difficult. As a result, bat surveys and inventories are now transitioning from mist net surveys to acoustic monitoring (see the 2014 Indiana bat survey protocol at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/inba/inbasummersurveyguidance.html).
 

Acoustic monitoring to detect presence or absence of bat species is an emerging science that many Service biologists are not very familiar with. To assist biologists at their own agency, as well as those at regulatory and resource agencies in the Columbus, Ohio, area, the Ohio Department of Transportation funded a three-day acoustic monitoring training session. The workshop, taught by experts Cori Lausen (Bats R Us) and Kim Livengood (Bat Sense), focused on the methods and science associated with conducting and interpreting acoustic bat surveys. The training was attended by five Service biologists, as well as biologists from ODOT, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Participants learned the basics of bat acoustic detection and interpretation, and participated in two nights of field detection at Battelle Darby Creek Metropark. Biologists learned about various hardware and software used in acoustic monitoring, how to differentiate calls of various types of bats, and the difficulty in conclusively documenting presence of particular species based on acoustic detections.

Contact Info: Megan Seymour, (614) 416-8993 x 16, megan_seymour@fws.gov