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BCI Expands its Subterranean Survey Capabilities


by Joseph Monfeli

In early October, Bat Conservation International’s Subterranean Program staff travelled to Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains for the first annual Subterranean Program Retreat. The three-day course was taught by Subterranean Programs Director Jason Corbett, Subterranean Specialist Joseph Monfeli and BCI Imperiled Species Coordinator Katie Gillies. It focused on trainings in subterranean ecology, underground bat identification, ropework and vertical techniques, rescue readiness and safe entry and exit practices for abandoned mines and caves. The group also learned about the latest research surrounding White-nose Syndrome, WNS decontamination and surveying, the ongoing recovery and delisting efforts regarding the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae), and BCI’s ongoing acoustic and visual surveys for bat diversity across the Western United States. The retreat allows us to establish a framework for sharing the combined knowledge of BCI’s subterranean survey teams so we can better prepare subterranean surveyors for their work protecting bats and their habitats across the United States.

This training course represented the collective effort of the five years of work that has shaped the Subterranean Program into the force for conservation advocacy and bat-habitat preservation that it is today. Through subterranean surveys, BCI is doing more than ever for bats – and more than ever for our partners, the private corporations and public agencies with which we work. BCI is proud of this accomplishment, and will continue to share the results of our expanded fieldwork and bat conservation capabilities.

The Subterranean Program at BCI is funded entirely by grants and contracts derived from work conducted in support of conservation efforts by private corporations and various federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Defense. Additional support for the program has come from the Pulliam Foundation – and from generous donors like you.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 November 2013
 
Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International