Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Bat Monitoring

Bat House (640x427)The Wisconsin Bat Program was created by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in 2007 for monitoring and inventorying bat populations because of the white nose syndrome (WNS) found in bats.  WNS was discovered in the eastern United States and is heading west with high mortality rates – up to 100%.  The Bat Monitoring Program is trying to collect baseline data on bats before WNS arrives in our state, and hopefully find some possible causes and/or cures.  More information on  WNS can be found in our blog entitled “Bats in Wisconsin.

Our bat houses are located in our 5-acre Prairie.  As you can see from the picture above, they are mounted on 4” x 4” treated posts about 13 feet in the air, two facing south and two facing north.  We plan to add more houses in the future.  Bats leave their houses shortly after sunset, so one should be in place and ready to go about 20 minutes prior to sunset.  Because of the bats you will not be bothered by mosquitoes while you wait. We use hand clickers to count the bats.  It is actually quite fun to see them leave.

Click Wisconsin Bat Program for a full full description of the program.

The table below shows the results from three years of data collection.

2013 – Two Houses
Date Temp Weather Wind Start Time End Time Total Bats
4/30 75 Clear Calm 8:20 8:40 56
7/23 62 Clear Calm 8:40 8:55 28
8/13 62 Clear Calm 8:15 8:35 40
2014 – Two Houses
Date Temp Weather Wind Start Time End Time Total Bats
5/22 65 Clear Calm 8:40 9:00 57
5/23 66 Clear Calm 8:38 8:55 58
5/25 77 Heavy Clds Calm 8:32 8:50 73
7/4 68 Clear Calm 8:48 9:06 39
7/15 66 Clear Calm 8:38 8:59 69
7/16 65 Clear Calm 8:38 8:58 80
7/17 66 Clear Still 8:35 8:57 81
8/22 65 Clear Still 8:17 8:27 16
2015 – Four Houses
5/1 61 Cloudy Calm 8:11 8:24 88
5/13 57 Partly Cldy Calm 8:25 8:40 112
6/17 78 Partly Cldy Calm 8:52 9:09 61
7/22 79 Clear Calm 8:43 8:57 131