Bat Survey & Video

Last night researchers from Wisconsin Bat Program held their annual bat survey at Devil’s Lake State Park. As you know, our bat populations are crashing due to White-nose Syndrome (WNS). Little Brown Bats like these guys, were once abundant throughout forested parts of the U.S. as far north as Alaska. Today they are uncommon throughout much of their eastern range and being hit hard by WNS in Wisconsin.

At Devil’s Lake the bats and the staff have had an on-going disagreement on where they should live. For generations the local little brown bats have spent their summers and raised their pups in Bat houses attached to, and in the roof of the North Shore Chateau.  Park staff built a Bat Condo a few years back and have done everything they can think of to encourage the bats to take up in the new digs.  Some have moved. A few hundred at least.. That said, where did the researchers band the bats?  At the Chateau of course!

Hate Bats?  Well, I hope you love mosquitos! A single little brown bat (The ones in the video) can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in a single hour, a nursing mother bat eats the most – sometimes catching more than 4,000 insects in a night!  Now stay with me here… if you do some math, according to Project Edubat a colony of 100 little brown bats can eat 1.5 million mosquitoes in a month!  Like I said, the colony at Devil’s Lake is in the hundreds of bats..

Park visitor's watching last evening's bat survey.

Park visitor’s watching last evening’s bat survey.

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Researcher checks bat for sex and general health before banding.

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