Bat Surveys Commence Again at Cape Cod National Seashore

WELLFLEET – A bat research team is conducting work at the Cape Cod National Seashore this fall.

With many bat species’ populations experiencing declines due to White-Nose Syndrome, bats are of increasing concern to natural resource managers.

Researchers from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) are working to understand bat ecology and habitat use at the Seashore and surrounding area.

They say that research is needed to provide essential information to guide effective and efficient management planning for bats.

“We’re interested in finding out what kinds of places these bats are gathering and preparing for migration during the fall and if they do migrate, where they may be moving to and if not, where they are hanging out locally,” said SUNY-ESF Assistant Professor Shannon Farrell.

In 2015 and 2016, researchers used passive acoustic sampling to document bat presence and habitat use at 86 sample locations.

This fall, they’re focused on acoustic monitoring, trapping and tracking efforts to investigate fall habitat use, including the location of potential fall swarming sites and local hibernation sites.

Farrell said that they’re using acoustic detectors throughout the Seashore.

“We’re using those deployed all over the National Seashore to figure out where they are actually occurring, including some areas we might not expect but we don’t want to rule anything out off-hand,” said Farrell.

Work is continuing through late November and much of the work will be conducted at night between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.


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