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Training Workshop Helps Staff Analyze Bat Calls

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Wednesday, February 26, 2020

ANHC Chief of Acquisition and Stewardship, Bryan Rupar and Land Management Specialists Ryan Leeson and Emily Roberts recently attended a two-day workshop focused on collecting and analyzing bat acoustics.

Bats emit calls at frequencies above the range detectable by humans, but passive monitoring devices can be deployed to record them. Staff members use such acoustic equipment to record bat sounds from the System of Natural Areas and from potential acquisitions that would be additions to that System. The corresponding data from the recordings is then analyzed to determine which species of bats are present, what types of habitats they are using, and the time(s) of year they are present. This information provides an invaluable resource for the ANHC when carrying out land management activities, purchasing property, and applying for grants. In addition, gathering and analyzing bat acoustic data is less labor intensive and thus often more cost-effective than conducting live trapping surveys.

Arkansas is home to 16 bat species, including three federally listed endangered: gray (Myotis grisescens), Indiana (Myotis sodalis), and the Ozark big-eared (Corynorhinus townsendii ingens) as well as one federally listed threatened, the northern long-eared (Myotis septentrionalis). ANHC’s natural areas provide valuable habitat, foraging habitat, and movement corridors that benefit Arkansas’s bat species.


Top - Tri-colored bats (Perimyotis subflavus) at Devil's Eyebrow Natural Area. Photo by Emily Roberts.

Bottom - ANHC staff participate in a two-day workshop to help them collect and analyze bat acoustics. Photo by Bryan Rupar.

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