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.

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Turtle crossings

This girl was spotted near the Mercer Lake boat landing last Monday. She was about 2′ long!

With the breeding season in full swing for our local turtles, the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program is asking for our help. If you observe a turtle crossing a road on her way to a nesting site, find any that have been hit by cars, or just spot a turtle in the wild, you can go to the WTCP’s website to report your sighting. These reports help conservation biologists find problem areas so they can work with road agencies to make crossings safer for motorists and turtles alike; and also help build a database to enable the WDNR to manage and conserve turtles. The website is full of interesting info about turtle species, protecting their nests, and helping them get across the roads safely when we find them.

Conservation on Tap 2017

Another sure sign of Spring! Here is the Conservation on Tap schedule for the coming year. Print one for yourself and one for a friend. It looks like an interesting line up. Hope to see you there!

Putting Wetlands to Work for Your Community

On October 18th at 6:30 pm at the Oma Town Hall the Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance and the Iron County Citizens’ Forum are co-sponsoring a program titled “Putting Wetlands to Work for Your Community”.  The speaker will be Kyle Magyera – Local Government Outreach Specialist for the Wisconsin Wetlands Association. Sounds interesting! For more information, visit http://ironcitizensforum.blogspot.com/

In case you missed it

We’re very grateful to Wendy Thiede for recording Zach Wilson’s excellent presentation about shoreline buffer zones at The Pines last Wednesday night. In case you weren’t able to attend,  you can watch it here.