Successful Bat Blitz Held at Redstone Arsenal

August 27, 2014

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.


Bat Blitz to be Held in Early October

September 14, 2013
Holly LeGrand of TVA removes a red bat from a mist net (USFWS - Bill Gates)

Biologist Holly LeGrand of the Tennessee Valley Authority removes a red bat from a mist net (USFWS – William R. Gates)

The Alabama Bat Working Group will be conducting it’s Bat Blitz from 2:00 p.m. Monday, October 7, 2013 until the morning of Friday, October 11, 2013. The Nature Conservancy’s Headquarters (House) at 1481 Highway 72 in Gurley, Alabama will serve as the location to coordinate bat trapping and the place where the Fall meeting of the group will be held.

The bat blitz is an organized effort to conduct many surveys for bats in a relatively short period of time in a particular area to determine what species are present and their relative abundance. Trapping will be held each night in the Jackson County and east Madison County areas.

All are welcome and the event is free. This is an opportunity to learn how bats are studied in the wild just before the Halloween Season. You may attend any or all of the four nights. Meet at the Headquarters at 2:00 p.m. Monday or 10:00 a.m. any of the other days through Thursday. The Fall meeting will be held on Wednesday beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Please complete the contact form below if you wish to attend (your information will remain private). We will provide a signup sheet and other information.