As the second state struck by white nose syndrome in bats, good news for Vermont’s bats is good news for all hibernating bats in North America. An Associated Press story reports that scientists are interpreting results of a winter-long study of bat movements in New England’s largest bat hibernation site as showing a sharp reduction in the number of bats felled by white nose syndrome.
The scientists tagged over 400 bats, and found that only eight left their hibernation cave early. Only 192 bats left the cave at their normal time, but the scientists say they think those other 200 or so bats hibernated in another cave, as opposed to dieing somewhere deep in the cave out of reach of their tracking antenna.
– Ohio Department of Natural Resources is studying how and why bobcats have returned to the state, by tracking 21 collared bobcats, The Madison Press reports. Previous research showed that there are two distinct populations of bobcats in the state. DNA analysis showed that the bobcats in both populations are from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky. Read more in The Madison Press, here.
– David “Doc Quack” Riensche, an East Bay Regional Park District biologist, has been studying western pond turtles in in the eastern foothills of Mount Diablo outside Clayton, California for three years, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The study has collected information on where the turtles winter and lay eggs. Western pond turtles are the only turtle native to California, but they face competition from non-native turtle species. Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle, here.
– Nearly 100 research volunteers surveyed the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma for bats for this year’s “Bat Blitz,” organized by the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network, the Catoosa Times reports. One of the goals of the blitz is to document bat diversity before white nose syndrome harms bat populations in Oklahoma. Read more in the Catoosa Times.
Photo: This bobcat was in New York State. Photo courtesy NYS DEC
Bat Conservation International (BCI) still has space available this June in its Arizona field training workshops for biologists, land managers, consultants, students, and serious advocates of natural resource conservation who need to develop skills to monitor and inventory bats.
An acoustic monitoring workshop will be held June 4-9 and will cost $1,795, which includes dormitory-style lodging and food, but not airfare or other costs of transportation to the training site. A bat conservation and monitoring workshop will be held June 10-15 and will cost $1,595. If you want to handle bats during the workshop, you will need a pre-exposure rabies vaccine.
The deadline for applying to one of the June workshops is May 1, 2013.