Joey Weber, M.Sc., 2015

Bat Research

The Virginia big-eared bat is an endangered subspecies of the Townsend’s big-eared bat, occurring in only 4 southeastern states. Little is known about the spring time ecology of the Virginia big-eared bat, especially about the small North Carolina population, ~400 bats total. A winter population was discovered on Grandfather Mountain back in the early 1980s, but until Joey studied these bats, we had no idea where they went during the spring/summer. During his M.Sc. project, he discovered the first known maternity roost for this species in NC – a cave that hosts about 360 bats in summer. Most of the roosts he found are on private land, so we’ve worked with several state, federal, and private partners to try to acquire some of these lands. Joey’s favorite bat is the Virginia big-eared bat, of course!

Photo Gallery on Joey’s thesis work

Science Daily article

Operation: Bat Research profile on Joey’s work in the Appalachian Mountains