Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Ozark big-eared bat Hibernacula Survey at AD-10- Adair County, Oklahoma
Southwest Region, March 6, 2008
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Richard Stark of the Oklahoma ES Field Office, Steve Hensley, manager of the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge, and Bill Puckette, contract geologist and cave biologist, conducted an Ozark big-eared bat hibernacula survey at a known hibernaculum in Adair County, Oklahoma (AD-10).  The hibernacula surveys are done annually at select known hibernacula.  These bat monitoring efforts allow documentation of population trends and response to recovery efforts. 

The hibernating colony at AD-10 is difficult to monitor without disturbing the bats because the bats cluster under a large rock that is difficult to access.  Counting the colony requires surveyors enter the roost area by rappelling down a rope, which typically disturbs the colony.  We attempted to access the winter roost site from a passage deeper within the cave to avoid disturbing the colony.  We believed this passage may allow us to enter the roost area below the large rock where the bats hibernate and eliminate the need to rappel down the passage.  Unfortunately, entry through this passage also would require rappelling gear.  For future monitoring efforts, we discussed placing a permanent cable ladder within the cave during a less sensitive time of the year (e.g., late summer).  The permanent ladder would allow quick and relatively quieter access to the roost area.  No signs of recent vandalism were observed.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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