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ECORP Biologist Participates in a Citizen Science Project for Bat Week

SonobatTM 4 software used for the bat week science project

In honor of Bat Week, an international celebration of the importance of bats in nature, ECORP bat biologist Jen West participated in the 2022 Bat Week Acoustic Bat Blitz. The Acoustic Bat Blitz is a citizen science project hosted virtually by Batweek.org, organized by Ted Weller of the U.S. Forest Service, with the goal of monitoring bat species throughout the country to increase public awareness and support conservation.

Ms. West passively recorded the ultrasonic (high frequency) echolocation calls of bats emerging from roosts, foraging, or flying through the Sucker Ravine open space adjacent to ECORP’s Rocklin office. She identified appropriate locations for two PetterssonTM D500x acoustic monitoring units, where they would be unobstructed to clearly detect bat calls while not being detected by the bats themselves (or by humans!). The D500x units were deployed for three nights. She then uploaded the recordings from the units onto the computer and analyzed the calls using SonobatTM 4 software to determine which species were in the vicinity. Two species of bats were detected: Mexican free-tailed (Tadarida brasiliensis) and a species of myotis Myotis sp).

Between the two units, ECORP contributed six nights of acoustic monitoring to the citizen science project, which had over 100 participants from all over the country and resulted in detections of 23 different species of bats! To review the results nationwide, visit https://visualize.batamp.databasin.org/presence.

For more information on the Acoustic Bat Blitz, contact Jen West; for more information on the bat-related services ECORP offers, contact Lourdes Gonzalez-Peralta at (916) 782-9100 or Lauren Simpson at (714) 648-0630.

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