Fire Management and Quality of Habitat for Bats

Discussing the relationships between fire management and the quality of habitat for bats:  A workshop for scientists and land managers

Mark your calendars for this event on April 30th and May 1st, 2014, at Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky. The primary focus of this workshop will be a synthesis of research funded through the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP #10-1-06-1). Results will be presented in a multi-trophic context that that will be relevant for stewards and scientists alike across the Appalachians and Oak Woodlands Consortia.

firesnag

Prescribed fires in mixed-oak forests are hypothesized to have positive effects on foraging and roosting habitat that may outweigh the risks to forest bats from smoke and heat exposures during fires. Published data on fire and bat foraging habitat are few for this ecosystem, however, particularly for the critical periods before and after hibernation. This project has focused on testing hypotheses about the relationships between fire’s effects on insect prey availability and canopy structure and their relationship to bats’ selection of foraging areas during the pre- and post-hibernation periods at Mammoth Cave National Park (MCNP) in Kentucky. Habitat quality pre- and post-hibernation is critical because bats must go into hibernation with sufficient fat reserves and they often leave hibernation in poor condition. Bat condition may become even more important with the arrival of the White-nose Syndrome (WNS), which was detected at MCNP during the winter of 2012-2013.

Studies have been ongoing at MCNP since fall of 2010, resulting in a data set that is comprehensive in its coverage of forest vegetation, insect herbivores, and bats prior to and concurrent with the arrival of WNS a this burned landscape. This study has elucidated relationships between bats and forest vegetation, with data suggesting that varied bat species (including the Indiana bat and other Myotis species) are responsive to forest canopy conditions in ways that are directly relatable to fire management prescriptions. These models of activity patterns across a burned landscape will be discussed in relation to prey consumption patterns and measurements of insect abundance and diversity. Discussion will also encompass the applications of LiDAR-mapping efforts for other management applications, as well as describe multi-year effects of prescribed fire and herbivory on oak seedlings.

To Register Fill Out this Form

This is a free workshop offered by CAFMS we are limited to 100 people!

 Contact Helen Mohr (helen@cafms.org) for more information. See attached flyer for more details and info on signing up.

For more details:  Fire workshop at Mammoth Cave

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Did you know that some bats eat frogs?

 The fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus) ranges from Mexico to regions of South America, often found near water sources. They eat insects but will also have a treat of frogs, lizards and some other small animals. Recent research published in Science shows that fringe-lipped bats use water ripple cues produced by breeding male túngara frogs to attract females. Researchers found that the bats were much more likely to attack frogs that produced the calls along with the ripples. It’s suggested that they are using echolocation to detect these small ripples in the water that lead them to their prey.

bat-frog-617x416

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Bat Box Building Workshop

Spring is here and the bats are coming back in search of the perfect maternity roost and summer home. Now’s the time to put up a bat house! We will be assisting in a Bat Box Building Workshop hosted by ISU’s Institute for Community Sustainability on March 29th. Materials will be provided but space is limited so register today!

Bat Box Building Workshop Flyer

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Listen up!

Maybe it seems obvious with those big ears, but bats have a very wide hearing range (~2-110 kHz), which is well beyond the typical range of humans, maxing out around 20 kHz. Check out the image to see how that compares to your feline and canine friends.

batHearing

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Bats of the World

Where are all the bats?! Check out this site that maps the world’s biodiversity: http://biodiversitymapping.org/index.htm

batMap

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Hong Kong Announces World’s Biggest Ivory Burn

Destroying ivory stockpiles not only helps elephants…it also helps tons of other animals that depend on elephants as a keystone species, including bats!

hong-kong-china-ivory-burn_75782_990x742

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A lovely photo by BCI Founder, Merlin Photo.

Merlin left this morning for Costa Rica where he hopes to photograph a northern ghost bat (Diclidurus albus) roosting beneath a palm frond. Researchers rarely have been able to capture these bats, and until recently no one even knew where they lived. More than 45 years ago, while leading a Smithsonian expedition on Venezuela’s Rio Mavaca, Merlin discovered that these bats are relatively abundant. He spotted them feeding high above ground where they were nearly impossible to capture, though he did get a portrait of one. Recently, a few extra sharp-eyed biologists have spotted individuals roosting high up beneath palm fronds where they are extremely difficult to see. Their snow white bodies blend perfectly with the bright rays of sun shining through the fronds. Merlin’s friend, Carlos Roberto Chavarria, has spotted one and hopes to help photograph it. I had a prior commitment and couldn’t go on this trip, but Merlin will be assisted by our Austin friend, Steve Swanson. We hope, later this week, to show this uniquely camouflaged bat. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it won’t move before can be photographed.

Tuttle

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Wind turbines kill more than 600,000 bats a year

A new study in Bioscience (Hayes, 2013) estimated that wind turbines in the United States killed over 600,000 bats in 2012. While, we at the Bat Center support renewable energy, we also promote conservation through living simply and reducing our overall energy consumption.

windturbinedusk2http://www.popsci.com/blog-network/eek-squad/wind-turbines-kill-more-600000-bats-year-what-should-we-do

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Endangered status for bats urged again by scientists

Canadian biologists are looking to their federal government for greater protection of bats affected by white-nose syndrome. An endangered wildlife committee has recommended that little brown bats, northern long-eared bats, and tri-colored bats be listed as federally endangered in Canada.

little brown bat white nose syndromehttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/endangered-status-for-bats-urged-again-by-scientists-1.2451359

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‘Innovative’ bird hide to boost bats

A novel bird hide will also give sanctuary to bats. In particular, the nature reserve managers hope that Nathusius’ pipistrelle, a rare bat threatened by habitat loss, will use the roost in summer. The hide includes insulated boxes that could house other bat species in winter.

batBirdHouse

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-24929943

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