Our Team: Calvin Butchkoski, Wildlife Biologist
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Supervising Biologist 3, February 2012 to April 2014 (Retired)
As supervisor of the Endangered and Nongame Mammal Section in the Wildlife Diversity Division, Bureau of Wildlife Management, with the working title of State Mammalogist, I developed and coordinated scientific studies and conservation efforts for all endangered, threatened, special-concern and non-game mammals to sustain the diversity of mammals native to the state and to recover populations. I represented the Game Commission at research gatherings and hearings including the Pennsylvania Biological Survey’s Mammal Technical Committee, Northeast Bat Technical Committee, and the Diversity Mammal Program within the Game Commission.
Based on a thorough knowledge of the wild mammals of Pennsylvania, including survey techniques, identification, habitat and conservation needs, I prioritized and oversaw research and management for all native mammal species not classified as game. Work included: design of population surveys and management, development and implementation of research and recovery plans through direct involvement and supervising subordinate biologists and biologist aides, conducting risk assessments, providing technical guidance for habitat management implementation, developing and implementing strategic and operational plans; establishing annual objectives for the team; and implementing mammal conservation on public and private land by working within the agency and with partners.
Administrative tasks included: review and evaluation of work performance, approval of leave for personnel to the section, development and oversight of annual and project budgets, establishing work schedules for full- and part-time staff, preparing contracts, purchasing equipment, drafting cooperative agreements, assisting acquisition of federal endangered species funds, State and Tribal Wildlife Grants, and other sources of funds for mammal conservation.
Required expertise of mammal survey and research techniques included: fieldwork methods, database formatting and management, radio-telemetry, GIS analysis and mapping, and development of interagency agreements. I strived to evaluate and adapt field survey techniques to increase efficiency and to adopt new technologies.
Bat Related Work Experience
To insure that information was not lost, I developed and maintained databases for hibernacula surveys (interior counts and entrance trapping), mist-net surveys, artificial and natural summer roosts, bat telemetry, and bat banding records. All of these were incorporated into GIS. I am a Qualified Bat Surveyor (QBS) in Pennsylvania.
Between 1986 and 2013, I conducted or supervised (on site) ~150 netting surveys with captures of at least 4,770 bats, including ~15 Indiana bats, 4,500 little brown bats, 46 northern long-eared bats, 6 eastern small-footed bats, 99 big brown bats, 13 tri-colored bats, 79 red bats, 9 hoary bats, and 4 silver-haired bats.
Between 1985 and 2013, I conducted or supervised (on site) ~250 harp trapping surveys with captures of at least 59,377 bats, including: 205 Indiana bats, 57,128 little browns, 1,558 northern long-eareds, 82 eastern small-footeds, 138 big browns, 264 tri-colors, and 2 red bats.
Between 1985 and 2013, I conducted or supervised (on site) ~470 winter hibernacula surveys in Pennsylvania with at least 626,608 bats counted, including: 5,161 Indiana, 590,573 little brown, 3,823 northern long-eared, 838 eastern small-footed, 8,782 big brown and 17,431 tri-colored bats. I also assisted New York, New Jersey and West Virginia with hibernacula surveys that counted and estimated 60,000 bats including ~20,000 Indiana bats and several thousand Virginia big-eared bats.
Between 1999 and 2012, I have tagged and tracked 42 little brown bats (summer habitat tracking and spring migration to summer roosts) and 48 Indiana bats (summer habitat tracking and spring migration to summer roosts). Summer habitats were documented using triangulation, roosts were characterized, and emergence counts conducted; and habitat utilization was mapped (kernelling and MCPs). Tracking involve use of various mapping software with real time GPS tracking on ground vehicles and aircraft. Processing software used includes Missouri’s GMT V2.36, LOASTM, BIOTASTM, with final mapping using ESRI’s ArcView®and ArcMap®.
I have worked with the AnabatTMprogram since the early 1990s and have collected many calls – initially developing a call library using SYSTAT ®’s discriminate analysis functions. Many calls that I recorded have been used in other researchers’ call libraries. Most work has used Anabat as a tool to locate netting sites for target species in the Canoe Creek Indiana bat foraging area, Blair County, Pennsylvania. More recently, in coordination with Bat Conservation International (BCI), Anabat was used to detect early emergence linked to White Nose Syndrome (WNS) infection at 6 hibernacula with BCI. I have participated as both instructor and student in 2 weeklong BCI acoustic workshops held in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.
I have developed several styles of artificial bat roosts, including standard wooden boxes, durable metal-shell boxes and a large bat condo – all of which were tested on Indiana bats in Blair County Pennsylvania and found to be successful. As of summer 2014, a post-WNS Indiana bat maternity roost in Blair County, Pennsylvania was using the metal-shell box design erected in summer 2006. The location was found in spring spring by radio-tracking a female emerged from an abandoned coalmine in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. In February 2015, a female Indiana bat banded at the maternity roost in summer 2013 was found in a Carter County, Kentucky cave, ~418 miles (614 km) distant.
I have written many annual reports and federal grant reports since 2001, including: Bat summer roost count surveys (Appalachian Bat Count), Summer Indiana Bat Investigations (including migration telemetry), and Bat Hibernacula Survey Annual Reports. I have also written various technical and popular articles on Pennsylvania mammals.
Brack, V. W. Jr., C. W. Stihler, R. J. Reynolds, C. M. Butchkoski, and C. S. Hobson. 2002. Effect of climate and elevation on distribution and abundance in the mideastern United States. Pages 21-28 inA.Kurta and J.Kennedy, editors. The Indiana bat: biology and management of an endangered species. Bat Conservation International, Austin, Texas, USA.
Butchkoski, C. M., and J. D. Hassinger. 2002. Ecology of a maternity colony roosting in a building. Pages 130-142 inA. Kurta and J. Kennedy, editors. The Indiana bat: biology and management of an endangered species. Bat Conservation International, Austin, Texas, USA.
Butchkoski, C. M. 2004. Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) radio tracking and telemetry studies - getting started. Pages 69-80 in proceedings of K. Vories and A. Harrington, editors, Indiana bat and coal mining: a technical interactive forum. U. S. Dept. of Interior, Office of Surface Mining, Alton, Illinois, USA.
Butchkoski, C. M. 2010. Pennsylvania bat gating efforts. Pages 145-149 in proceedings of K. C. Vories, A. H. Cawell and T. M. Price, editors, Protecting threatened bats at coal mines: a technical Interactive forum. U. S. Dept. of Interior, Office of Surface Mining, Alton, Illinois, USA.
Butchkoski, C. M. 2010. Indiana bat. Pages 327-335 inM. A. Steele, M. C. Brittingham, T. J. Maret, and J. F. Merritt, editors. Terrestrial vertebrates of Pennsylvania: a complete guide to species of conservation concern. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Frick, W. F., J. F. Pollock, A. C. Hicks, K. E. Langwig, D. S. Reynolds, G. G. Turner, C. M. Butchkoski, and T. H. Kunz. 2010. An emerging disease causes regional population collapse of a common North American bat species. Science, Vol 329, Pages 679-682. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC, USA
Russell, A. L., C. M. Butchkoski, L. Saidak, G. F. McCracken. 2009. Road-killed bats, highway design, and the commuting ecology of bats. Endang Species Res 8:49-60.
I also provided technical drawings for Pennsylvania’s Wild Resource Conservation Fund’s Woodcrafting for Wildlife that includes bat house designs: