Being in a huge, remote park with a small staff means the big projects, like mine, are saved for summers. This summer as a Bat Communications intern my main project is to manage acoustic monitoring data on bats.

During the following nine weeks, I will be working with my supervisor to set out acoustic monitoring devices within the park and learn to work with their data. While collecting data this summer at those sites, I am reviewing the data from the last two summers to use to establish a long term acoustic monitoring plan. With my summary from the past data, my team and I can establish a plan and objectives to know more about bat activity and movement within the park. Establishing this plan will enable the park to estimate the health and abundance of the population, as well as having knowledge on where they frequent so we can do a better job of protecting their roosts.

Cave monitoring team at Indian Well cave at Lave Beds.

On Friday evenings I will giving “Bat Mythbusters” programs at the amphitheater to campers and visitors! During the program, I’ll debunk bat myths and touch on how beneficial bats are. Utilizing SonoBat, visitors will get a chance to look at real-time bat calls on the programs.

Even though that seems like a lot, I also get to work with so many awesome people on park: the cave monitoring team conducting cave vegetation surveys, the cyclic weeds team doing invasive plant management and native plant restoration, the biological science technician doing wildlife surveys and Youth Conservation Corps, and interpretation doing programs. I am looking forward to learning from everyone and soaking up as much information as possible. Here are some photos from the job so far!

During my first week, I got to hand release bats after we processed them. We used SonoBat (where the people are gathered and the light is from) to get an accurate identification of the bat species when we were unsure. Please do not handle bats unless you have proper training and shots!

Juvenile Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) on park in a cliff face.

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