Alabama Bat Working Group Bat Blitz
Redstone Arsenal, AL
August 12-14, 2014.
The following paragraph, with minor edits, was provided by Shannon Allen, Ecologist and Certified Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Army Garrison – Redstone
US Army Garrison – Redstone Arsenal hosted an Alabama Bat Working Group Bat Blitz August 12-14, 2014. Mist netting at 5 sites yielded 66 individuals from 6 species (31 Big Brown bats, 22 Red bats, 9 Gray bats, 2 Little Brown bats, 1 Evening bat, and 1 Tricolor bat). A 28 mile acoustic monitoring route was established and was run both nights during the blitz. Passive acoustic monitors were installed at 3 of the 5 mist-net sites and preliminary results indicate the presence of additional species: Silver-haired bat, Eastern small-footed bat, and Indiana bat. In addition to trapping in forested and wetland habitats, the group explored bats’ use of culverts and abandoned buildings. Day trips included visits to some of Redstone’s sensitive species; the Tuscumbia Darter (Etheostoma tuscumbia) and the Green Salamander (Aneides aeneus). Tom Counts of Conservation Services Of Alabama, LLC donated funding to the Working Group for food and drinks, Clayton Hendrix with Teledyne Brown Engineering provided delicious homemade desserts, the US Army Garrison– Redstone Arsenal Environmental Management Division provided White-nose Syndrome decontamination supplies, and US Army Garrison -Redstone Arsenal Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation provided housing for some participants. Tennessee Valley Authority, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama Department of Labor, Geological Survey of Alabama, Georgia Department of Transportation, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Mulkey Engineers & Consultants, and HNTB, Alabama A&M, Auburn University, and Athens State University provided equipment and/or personnel for the event.
Specific training at the blitz included establishing and running stationary bat acoustic monitoring stations, mobile acoustic monitoring, and decontamination procedures for White-nose Syndrome (WNS). In addition, those with less experience learned how to set up mist nets to capture bats and bat identification. Those lucky enough to be with an experienced Tennessee Valley Authority employee, Holly LeGrand, also experienced how to take a wing punch from bats. The samples will be forwarded to a researcher in New York studying the differences in immunological responses to WNS in bats highly susceptible to this fungal disease and those that are not impacted as greatly.
The Alabama Bat Working Group wishes to thank all who provided support and Redstone Arsenal for hosting the event. We would like to especially thank Shannon Allen for all of her hard work in setting it up and making it so successful.