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Bat Capture and Handling Workshop

Our workshops provide an opportunity to obtain experience with bat capture and handling techniques required by agencies, clients, and professional researchers to fulfill a variety of research needs. 

Our classes provide intensive training in capture and survey techniques using mist nets, harp traps, and video recording to perform surveys and inventories for bats.  An introduction to cave and mine assessments and management for bats is also presented. Few wildlife biology students in typical degree programs receive in-depth exposure to and training with these techniques.

 

Overview

The workshops will combine classroom lectures and discussions with outdoor field practicals designed to introduce participants to a full range of bat inventory and monitoring techniques. The courses begin with the fundamentals of bat natural history and study techniques. Field outings will provide hands-on experience in deploying single-, double-, and triple-high mist nets and harp traps. Entry into caves and other roosts provides a rare opportunity to demonstrate first hand bat roost and hibernation evidence, atmosphere requirements, modern cave closure and monitoring techniques.

BCM has collaborated with Bat Survey solutions since 2008 in Arizona, California, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. All bat trapping and handling will comply with all local, state, or federal guidelines. Instructors will cooperate with the NPS and the appropriate state wildlife agency as requested to band or otherwise tag any species of interest. All current local WNS decontamination protocols will be followed any time bats are handled, research equipment is used, or monitoring near roosts is conducted.


Target Audience

Workshops are open to biologists and naturalists from federal, state, or local agencies, college and/or graduate students, and other wildlife professionals or enthusiasts with a desire to learn more about bat capture, handling, and identification. Class size will be limited to 20 or less participants in each session. No prior experience with bat handling is required. Workshop instructors will provide all capture and handling equipment, WNS decontamination/disinfection gear, and other survey and monitoring tools. If participants desire to handle bats during these courses, rabies pre- exposure vaccination will be required. All participants are expected to have personal insurance coverage. All participants are expected to sign a liability waiver and photo release at the start of the workshop.


Course Content 

Lectures and demonstrations cover a full range of bat survey and monitoring methods including:

Introduction to bat natural history, distribution, conservation status

Hands on demonstrations with mist nets, harp traps, video recorders


Micro-siting techniques for deploying nets & traps

Morphological  characteristics for bat identification


Identifying and  monitoring cave and mines for bat presence


Field Trips

Field trips are specific to each venue, and may involve visiting caves, roosts, bat houses, and of course, trap sites. Participants should be prepared to hike over uneven terrain, at night, carrying personal gear and up to ~30-pounds of field gear. Students must bring personal field gear including headlamps, appropriate clothing, bat handling gloves, and footwear for outdoors, and basic personal items. Insect repellent for chiggers, ticks, and mosquitos is strongly advised, and poison ivy is present. Some sites require working in knee-deep water, in thick mud. Waders or other appropriate footwear is highly recommended. See the registration page for venue-specific info such as waders and helmets. All equipment for capturing bats is provided, and transportation to and from field sites is available.


Online Class Opportunity

There is no remote learning option for this type of workshop.


Bat Survey Support

Need to start a project but have no time for training? We partner with consultants large and small nationwide to provide equipment, technicians, analysis, netting, trapping, radio telemetry, and custom training workshops. Please contact John Chenger at jchenger@batmanagement.com or (814) 442-4246 to discuss your project and timelines. 

Have you already conducted an acoustic survey and looking for a second opinion on your data? BCM may be able to help with its Professional Acoustic Data Analysis Service.

 





Each workshop's details vary with local research needs, access, conditions, and available resources. For venue-specific details, meals, & lodging suggestions, please view the event registration page: