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.

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New Lake Association Sign

We would like to thank LOFA Board member Jim Hannemann and craftsman David McNutt for our new sign under the lake kiosk, it really looks great.Kiosk Sign

It’s showtime!

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Thanks for sending this, Michael! The next few weeks should be spectacular.

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.

Kiosk

Our new informational kiosk, donated by the Lake of the Falls Association and built by thumbnailLOFA member Elmer Gosh, was approved at the Mercer Town Board meeting on Thursday, September 1 and installed next to the public landing on Moose Creek Lane by an enthusiastic group of volunteers on the morning of September 2. We’re grateful to Elmer for his efforts. It looks terrific! The board has designated a committee to take responsibility for the materials posted inside. After years of discussion about this, it’s great to see it in place.

Thanks to Jack S., Mike M., and Tom T. for contributing these photos.To enlarge them for a slideshow, just click on the first one.