About Bats

Find out more about these creatures of the night!
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Acoustic Bat Inventory Summary-2012 

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge    

As part of the Inventory and Monitoring Program within the National Wildlife Refuge system, Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge took part in an acoustic bat inventory project during the summer of 2012. This project was funded by a grant at the regional level, and was coordinated by Inventory & Monitoring Biologist Jenny Barnett from the USFWS Inland Northwest Complex regional office.

Pettersson D500x Bat Detectors and the accompanying SonoBat software were selected and used for the bat inventory project.  Together, they are capable of recording full-spectrum acoustics and can differentiate bats based on the unique sounds each species makes at known frequencies. This technology is therefore able to estimate what species of bats (and how many) are in a given area. 

To collect data using the Pettersson D500x Bat Detector, a standard protocol was used by each participating refuge.  An external microphone was mounted to a rod above the ground, and was connected to the bat detector stored at the base. The detector was set to record from sunset until 3.5hrs after sunset, and was left at each survey location for 7 consecutive nights. (Survey locations were chosen based on a random grid system and additional criteria such as proximity to standing water- see Appendix A.) Data was stored on Compact Flash cards, and then transferred to a computer where it was processed using SonoBat software.  All data processing and analysis was performed using SonoBat software. 

Acoustic Bat Sampling-2012 Results



Facts About About Bats

More than 1,200 known bat species live on our planet

Bats are found everywhere except the Arctic, Antarctic and some islands in Oceania

Bats can be as large as a small dog or as small as a bumblebee

Bats are the only flying mammal with "hand wings" as their scientific name, Chiroptera, implies

Bats commonly give birth to 1 pup per year and can live up to 30 years