Bat Surveys

Bat Blitz

A bat is beautifully soft and silky; I do not know any creature that is pleasanter to the touch or is more grateful for caressings, if offered in the right spirit.   ~Mark Twain's Autobiography

Bottomland hardwood forests are important to southeastern bats as both roosting and foraging habitat. Thus, the loss of this habitat type is considered to be linked to the declining of southeastern bat species. Other issues negatively effecting bat populations include white-nosed syndrome, and the overuse of pesticides causing a reduction in their food source. All of these factors have dramatically increased the concern for bat populations. This makes Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge vital in providing quality habitat for these species. 

Numerous bat surveys have been conducted on the refuge since 2006. These surveys include acoustical analyses and mist netting efforts (sometimes referred to as a bat blitz). During the acoustical analysis, an ANABat System is used. This system is designed to identify bats by detecting and analyzing their echolocation calls. The system can be set-up in a stationary location or biologist can drive a designated route while using the ANABat System. During Bat Blitz efforts, mist nets are used to capture the bats, then biologist collect and record data from the bats before releasing them.

Currently, six bat species have been observed on the refuge during bat surveys:

  • Eastern Pipstrelle
  • Eastern Red Bat
  • Southeastern Myotis
  • Evening Bat
  • Silver-haired Bat
  • Northern Long-eared Myotis

Two federally endangered species are suspected to be present:

  • Gray Bat  
  • Indiana Bat