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Our Team: John Chenger, President of BCM

John is President of Bat Conservation and Management, Inc. (BCM), a company he formed in 1998 to provide specialized bat-related consulting services nationwide, remarkably successful artificial bat roosts, and field gear for bat research. John’s experience includes thousands of hours underground, mapping, photographing, and winter inventorying caves and mines. Above ground experience includes summer and fall bat capture surveys, abandoned mine and cave assessments, and rocky habitat assessments. John is an expert in bat echolocation call analysis throughout North America. His first experience with radio tracking spring migrating Indiana bats was in 2000, and in 2019 he led a massive fall project coordinating up to 15 ground and air trackers. Since 2004 he has been a recurring instructor at nationwide training workshops offered by Bat Conservation International and Bat Survey Solutions, a curriculum designed to train serious students, consultants, agency biologists, and land managers in  current research and management techniques for the study and conservation of bats. Other work included the Pennsylvania Game Commission, professional photographer & videographer, and Director of Interpretation at a commercial cave.

 

Highlights:

  • Designed, supervise and completed projects to meet USFWS section 7 and 10 Florida bonneted bat, Indiana bat, and Northern long ear bat consultation needs.
  • Has supervised 20 employees, sampling over 2,200 summer mist net sites and fall & spring mine surveys in 18 states across more than 200 projects.
  • Conducts acoustic monitoring studies in 8 states and provides expert manual analysis of recordings. Teaches SonoBat, Kaleidoscope, Echoclass, Transect, and BCID software, and Binary Acoustics, Pettersson, Titley, BatBox, Elekon, and Wildlife Acoustics bat acoustic hardware.
  • Supervised radio tracking of over 260 bats of 6 species since 2000, including Myso, Myse, Myle, Mylu, Labo, and Laci. Ground and air tracking included migration, summer foraging, and locating roosts. Partnered with the PA Game Commission, NYDEC, VT F&W, and the National Park Service on significant tracking projects.
  • Supervise surveys that meet needs of developers, agencies, and consultant partners including Florida bonneted bat habitat and acoustic surveys, mist net surveys, Allegheny woodrat surveys, cave and mine project area evaluations, small-footed bat rocky habitat evaluations, and artificial roost design, construction, and siting.
  • Proficient with macro, near infrared, thermal, multi-flash photography, studio photography, CCTV systems, camera traps, video production, multi-camera live event production, and high speed video and still photography. John has a video, photo, and editing studio to support education outreach projects with partners such as Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation and Bat Survey Solutions.  
  • Instructed or co-led over 75 training workshops nationwide for federal & state biologists, land managers, and consultants for proper use of acoustic monitoring equipment and bat capture techniques.
  • Former President of the Northeast Bat Working Group & Sub-Region Coordinator for the National Cave Rescue Commission. Published cave maps, descriptions, and photographs in various newsletters and books.
  • Since 2001 routinely presents on relevant topics at professional conferences such as Florida Bonneted Bat Working Group, Florida Bat Working Group, Northeast Bat Working Group, Southeast Bat Diversity Network, Western Bat Working Group, North American Symposium on Bat Research, as well as public outreach representing conservancy groups and National Park Service. 
  • Federally permitted (TE212440-7) to sample endangered species of bats nationwide, recognized as an expert in the field for bat acoustic call identification nationwide. 

  

SELECT PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Tyburec, J.D. and J.D. Chenger. 2013. Using Auto-classifiers for Acoustic Surveys: Do Results Reflect Reality?Presentation at the Northeast Bat Working Group Meeting, Albany NY, January 2013.

 

BAT-SURVEY AND MONITORING HIGHLIGHTS

2009 – Radio Telemetry Monitoring of Allegheny Woodrat (Neotoma magister) Activity after capture in southwestern Pennsylvania. Four reproductive woodrats (three females and one male) were monitored for 4 weeks. Fayette County, PA.

2010 – Radio Telemetry Monitoring of Myotis septentrionalis and Myotis leibii after mist net capture in central Pennsylvania. Of the 7 Myotis septentrionalis, all were adult females; 4 were non-reproductive, 1 was pregnant, and 2 were lactating. Bats were radio tracked for a total of 18 nights of foraging data and 13 days of daytime roosts. Of the 4 Myotis leibii, 2 were adult females (1 non-reproductive, 1 pregnant), and 2 were adult males (both non-reproductive) that were radio tracked for a total of 13 nights of foraging data and 8 days of daytime roosts in Centre and Clinton Counties, PA.

2011 – Radio Telemetry Monitoring of Myotis septentrionalis, all 4 were adult females; three were pregnant, one was non-reproductive. They were radio tracked for a total of 21 nights of foraging data and were found using 16 roost trees. Lycoming County, PA.

2011 – Radio Telemetry Study to Determine Foraging Patterns, Habitat Use, and Roost Sites of Myotis septentrionalis and Lasionycteris noctivagans in Tioga County, PA

2011 – Summer Indiana bat Mist Netting effort consisting of 26 sites. 397 captures of 6 species. Tioga County, PA.

2011 – Bat Mist Netting efforts consisting of 8 sites sampled multiple times from July through October. 74 captures of 4 species. Identified 19 Eptesicus fuscus, 6 Lasiurus borealis, 4 Myotis lucifugus, and 9 Myotis septentrionalis. Garrett County, MD.

2011 – Summer Indiana Bat Mist Netting effort consisting of 2 sites with 6 captures of 2 species. Identified 3 Eptesicus fuscus and 1 Lasiurus borealis. Orange County, NY.

2011 – Summer Indiana Bat Mist Netting effort consisting of 48 sites with 717 captures of 7 species. Identified 102 Eptesicus fuscus, 4 Lasiurus borealis, and 19 Myotis lucifugus. Luzerne and Wyoming Counties, PA

 

CUSTOM TRAINING CLASSES

2012-Present

“Data Management” classes, “Acoustic Survey Methods” courses, and “Combined Field Survey Techniques” workshops for Janet Tyburec Consulting and Bat Survey Solutions, LLC (Tucson AZ) at venues in Arizona, California, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Utah, and West Virginia.

2008-2012

“Bat Study and Survey Techniques” workshops for Bat Conservation and Management, Inc. (BCM, Carlisle PA) at venues in Arizona, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

2001-2012

“Acoustic Monitoring for Bats” workshops for BCI at venues in Arizona, California, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

 

SKILLS AND INTERESTS

Caving, Computer Design/Layout, Film Production, Photography, Videography, White-water Kayaking.