Wildlife on the lake

We haven’t seen a lot of people this summer, but the wildlife has been better than usual with a noisy pair of loons, breeding mergansers, the occasional otter, and our family of eagles in the First Black channel. The eagle parents have been observed teaching their offspring how to fish this week. And here are the results of the July bat survey – an impressive five species were detected on the night of July 23, including threatened little brown bats in several different locations.

We’re also participating in the Wisconsin Mussel Monitoring Program and have identified seven species of native clams in Lake of the Falls and up the river since June. Clam species have great names like Wabash Pigtoe, Fatmucket, and Spike, and their presence in our waters is a good indication of a healthy lake.

Have any good wildlife photos? Send them to lofassociation@gmail.com and share them with everyone!

 

Acoustic bat monitoring on May 29th

Bat survey May, 2019Our 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 and more information can be seen here and here

Acoustic bat monitoring – two new maps!

We’ve done two acoustic bat monitoring surveys this summer and have discovered that our beautiful lake supports five different species of bats! Check out our maps from July 17 and August 11.

These surveys are done as part of the Wisconsin Bat Program and coordinated locally by the North Lakeland Discovery Center. We conduct the surveys by taking a slow ride around the perimeter of the lake after dark 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.

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 such a healthy population of bats! Just one more reason to love our lake.

More information about bats in Wisconsin, including info about our various bat species,  can be found here.

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.