In the U.S., cave-dwelling bats are in their most critical time period now til the end of the hibernation period (end of March or early April for the eastern U.S.). Cavers and biologists take extra care this time of year to avoid disturbing bats who are near the end of their energy reserves. We’ve posted some resources for cavers, including a recent publication on decontamination effects on cave gear. Check out our Conservation page for more details!
Help us spread the word about our annual Bat Art Contest! The contest is for all ages (categories in three age groups). Those who enter have a chance to win cash $$$ prizes!
Entries are due 16 September 2016, so spread the word and get started on your project.
For more details and to enter visit our page, Bat Festival Art Contest.
We hope to see you at our 10th Annual Indiana Bat Festival! This is a free event for the whole family that includes lots of kids activities, presentations with live bats and other wildlife, plus exciting presentations from scientists who study bats from right here in Indiana and all around the world!
ISU Bat Center Director, Dr. Joy O’Keefe, was the author of a recent blog post on the new Save the Bats blog hosted by the Organization for Bat Conservation. If you are interested in Indiana bats or bats of Indiana, click on the Indiana bat to get to the post!
Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) photo by Caroline Byrne, M.S.
Spring is always busy with hiring for bat season and this one is no exception. Whether you are a seasoned biologist or a novice, we have some bat postings for you over on our Bat Jobs page. Bookmark this link to keep tabs on the latest bat jobs!
As we approach the end of 2015, you may be thinking about ways to contribute to bat conservation. I personally believe that education is critical to environmental awareness and conservation, so the Bat Center spends a significant amount of time conducting programs where we work (we talked to more than 3000 people in 2015). While we rarely ask for donations, your support is actually critical to the longevity of the ISU Bat Center! We depend ENTIRELY on grant funding (for staff salaries, travel, and supplies) and my students and I volunteer our personal time for most of our outreach events. If you’d like to contribute to support the Bat Center’s outreach, including our 10th Annual Indiana Bat Festival in Sept 2016 (free!), please follow the instructions on this page. It will take no more than 5 minutes for you to make a donation. We appreciate every dollar donated and promise to use your funds wisely to pay for supplies for kids’ activities, speaker fees for the Bat Festival, and staff salaries.
Director, Center for Bat Research, Outreach, and Conservation
Some fascinating new information on the taxonomic relationships of bats in the genus Lasiurus, the hairy tailed vespertilionid bats. Amy Baird and others have determined that yellow bats merit their own genus, Dasypterus. Red bats maintain claims on the Lasiurus genus. While hoary bats are still considered a sister taxon to Lasiurus, the authors found they should be in a new genus–Aeorestes. And that’s not all! Work by Russell et al. (PLoS One, 2015) had previously demonstrated that hoary bats invaded Hawaii multiple times. Baird and other show that there are two extant Aeorestes species in Hawaii. You can find Baird’s paper in the latest Journal of Mammalogy issue.
To compare the bats in these three genera, check out the Lasiurus photo gallery on Michael Durham’s page.