Bat Monitoring Stations

Acoustic Bat Monitoring Stations Program

DESCRIPTION

Bat Monitoring Station

The Acoustic Bat Monitoring Stations Program was developed to better understand the distribution, relative abundance, and migratory patterns of 13 bat species that have been documented in Indiana. A statewide network of 10 permanent monitoring stations has been established to record nightly echolocation calls of bats throughout the year. The stations are located along major habitat corridors, with each station maintained by a cooperating government partner.

Each station consists of a solar-powered bat detector and microphone fastened to a tall steel pole. Stations are located in open environments where bats are more likely to produce diagnostic search-phase calls that can be used to identify the species or species group. Ideal locations are near water sources and forested corridors where bats often travel and search for prey. Data collection began in August 2014. Information acquired from the stations will provide insight into various aspects of bat ecology, including: fall and spring migration patterns, how migration patterns are influenced by annual weather conditions and climate change, fluctuations in winter activity levels, and monitoring the stability of summer colonies. Information may also be compared to data obtained from nearby mobile acoustic surveys.

Several partners plan to incorporate an educational component to increase public awareness and appreciation of bats. Coupled with ongoing projects such as winter bat counts and mobile acoustic surveys, the Acoustic Bat Monitoring Stations Program will help biologists better protect and manage these vital, but often misunderstood, creatures.

Wildlife Diversity staff also monitor bats with a mobile survey. Learn more.

ACOUSTIC MONITORING STATIONS

This map shows approximate locations of bat monitoring stations. Click on a station for details.