Acoustic bat monitoring

Bat map 2017.6.2As part of a program offered by the North Lakeland Discovery Center, Michael and I have become volunteer bat monitors for the Wisconsin Bat Program. On the night of June 2 we took a slow ride around the perimeter of the lake while using a handheld bat detector. Each species of bat has a different high-frequency call which can be heard by the detector. By looking at the frequency, shape and other characteristics of calls, the software in the detector can identify the species of bat that was recorded.

Yesterday we received the mapped results of our survey, and here is what we found! Even though we didn’t see or hear any bats as we trolled along the shore, it turns out that there were quite a few around.

Bats are fascinating animals that are vital to the environment. They eat tons of insects nightly, saving farmers billions of dollars in pest control every year. They benefit our forests by pollinating a variety of flowering plants and spreading seeds that grow new trees. It’s good to know that Lake of the Falls supports a small population of bats, including Little Brown Bats, which are now on the Threatened list due to white-nose syndrome.

One Response

  1. […] Our first bat survey of 2019 revealed at least 3 species of bats thriving around our lake as of May 29, including Little Brown Bats, which are threatened statewide by white-nose syndrome. The surveys are done each year as part of the Wisconsin Bat Program and coordinated locally by the North Lakeland Discovery Center. This is fewer species than last year, but our first survey was conducted a little earlier in the year and along a slightly different route than in previous years; we have two more surveys scheduled for this season, weather permitting. The next survey should be in mid-July and the map will be posted a few weeks later, so stay tuned! Maps from our previous attempts can be seen here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s