by Ken Warren, USFWS
Tracking bats is going to the dogs. Literally.
If all goes according to plan this winter, a team of trained dogs and a handler from Auburn University will come to down south to help us find Florida bonneted bats, an elusive candidate species whose natural history is not fully understood.
The elusive Flordia bonneted bat. (Photo: Kathleen Smith/Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission)
Normally, the Service tracks bats and other animals using radio telemetry, but we need to use dogs in this case. Radio telemetry was tried before with captive bonneted bats, but they didn’t tolerate attached radio transmitters very well.
So, Service biologists Paula Halupa and Marilyn Knight of the South Florida Ecological Services Office have come up with a more innovative approach: Trained dogs