UMD Bat Study

[Music and Natural Sound] We are in the Nemadji State Forest on the north side of Nemadji State Forest about an
hour south of Duluth. So we’re going to be trying to capture bats
tonight. So we’re going to put up our mist nets, which
we use to capture the bats. We try to put the net in a spot where there’s
vegetation on both sides and also like overhanging so it kind of blocks the bats from going around. Doesn’t always work but we try. [Natural Sound] Bats are not a species that is studied a lot. So the northern long-eared bat is the one
that we’re studying. It’s in the same genus, so very closely related
to, the little brown bat. It was listed as threatened under the endangered
species act because of the white nose syndrome. So white nose syndrome is a fungal disease
that affects bats. The fungus grows in the cold, humid environments
that bats hibernate in. It was first detected in Minnesota two years
ago and then last year was the first year that we had mortalities observed. Our study, the project actually started
two years ago because we had advance warning. We knew that white nose syndrome was going
to come here and so I worked with Rich Baker. He’s with Minnesota DNR. And we wrote a proposal to look at summer
roosting habitat. And that’s important because that’s when the
females have their young. So if and when we catch a female, reproductive,
northern long-eared bat we put a transmitter on it and we track it to the trees it roosts
in. So the female bats, they form maternity colonies
during the summer, so a bunch of the females will form a group and sort of raise their
young together and they use tree roosts during the summer. We’re trying to learn more about what types
of trees they use and what’s important for those maternity roosts because that will be
important hopefully for the species to persist. With the knowledge that we’re gaining, we
can say this is a period when they have their young, this is the type of forest and type
of tree that we want to be more careful of.

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