Park rangers, in collaboration with BCI, recently documented that Mammoth Cave once served as one of the world's largest hibernation roosts. The cave has more than 350 miles of surveyed passages and may have housed 20 million bats in the past.
BCI supports field research projects every summer, and volunteer field assistants are often needed. All research equipment and training is provided; however, previous field experience is desirable. Volunteers must be in good physical condition and often must be able to cope with strenuous mountain hiking, temperature extremes, long hours, and high altitudes. For more information, contact the project coordinator listed below.
Northern Arizona Bat Roost Inventory
Assist biologists from the Bureau of Land Management in collecting baseline population data, identifying roost locations and densities, and determining habitat preferences for up to 14 sensitive bat species (former candidates for Category 2) on the Arizona Strip (between the Grand Canyon and the Utah border). Of particular concern are the California leaf-nosed bat, the spotted bat, Allen's lappet-browed bat, the silver-haired bat, Townsend's big-eared bat, the big free-tailed bat, and the western mastiff bat.
Bats will be captured in mist nets over known watering areas, then identified, sexed, aged, and fitted with light tags or radio transmitters depending upon the species. Released bats will be followed to determine the location of roosting areas. This information will be used to gather baseline data, assess impacts to bat roosting areas from proposed projects, and develop mitigation for areas occupied by sensitive bat species. A rabies pre-exposure vaccination, housing, vehicles, and a per diem are provided.
Project dates: May 19 - August 22, 1997
Contact: Michael Herder, BLM Arizona Strip Office, 345 East Riverside Drive,
St. George, Utah 84790; Tel: (801) 628-4491, ext. 239; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mammoth Cave Bat Conservation and Management Workshop
BCI will hold its first workshop specifically focused on cave-dwelling bats at Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky. The Mammoth Cave system, by far the longest cave labyrinth in the world, offers an unsurpassed opportunity to learn about the needs of bats that either hibernate or rear young in caves. It has been occupied by bats for tens of thousands of years, including millions that hibernated there as recently as the mid-1800s.
Workshop participants will learn conservation procedures, how to detect past bat use, and how to recognize cave conditions and associated habitat that best meet bat needs. We will visit hibernation and nursery caves for endangered gray and Indiana bats (though roosting bats will not be disturbed), accompanied by leading experts on these species. Trapping and netting at cave entrances and at nearby feeding and drinking sites will provide ample opportunity to learn identification and behavior of 8-10 widespread eastern species. We will also examine a variety of protective gate designs with the specialists who built them. Lectures will cover topics of broad interest, including habitat assessment, field research techniques, bat houses, and how to solve public health and nuisance problems.
This workshop will prove especially helpful for those assessing or managing caves or mines in eastern North America, but will be easily understood and enjoyed by nearly anyone. Information on course credits through Western Kentucky University will be available with applications.
Workshop dates: August 4-9, 1997
Cost: $995 (includes meals, lodging, transportation from Nashville, TN, and course materials)
Registration Deadline: April 1, 1997
Contact: Janet Tyburec at BCI for application and more information.
BCI, P.O. Box 162603, Austin, TX 78716, Tel: 512-327-9721, FAX: 512-327-9724