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Trees For Tomorrow to offer bat-monitoring training for volunteers

12:56 PM, May 6, 2013  |  Comments
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Trees For Tomorrow will offer a training program for people interested in helping the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources monitor the state's bats.

The training, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 30, in the Education Hall on the Trees For Tomorrow campus, is part of the school's efforts to assist the DNR in assessing bat species population and distribution.

Bat monitors help gather the data that the DNR uses to manage the bat population, an especially important task in light of the growing threat of white-nose syndrome.

Since it was first discovered in 2006, white-nose syndrome has infected six species of insect-eating bats in the northeastern and southern U.S., causing declines approaching 100% in some populations.

As the deadly risk expands west, it threatens Wisconsin bats.

Goals of the Acoustic Bat Monitoring project are:

1. Identify distribution and relative abundance of bat species throughout Wisconsin,

2. Improve upon methods of acoustic monitoring for bats

3. Monitor status and trends

4. Provide information to land managers, industry, and the public

All bat species in Wisconsin use echolocation as a primary means to locate food. By using hand-held ultrasound detectors with GPS units attached, bat survey volunteers can literally hear the bats and the information can be processed to determine bat species and exact location.

Volunteer citizen monitors conduct surveys 30 minutes after sunset over a route that takes an hour or more to walk or boat. The DNR is most concerned with sampling as many locations as possible from April through September.

For more information or to sign up for the bat monitoring training session, contact Troy Walters at Trees For Tomorrow at 715-479-6456, ext. 228, or troy@treesfortomorrow.com.

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