This past week I finally got out with my volunteers to do some bat surveys. The first survey we are doing is the Emergence Survey which is counting the number of bats that come out of the building or cave. We follow the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Bat Emergence Survey Protocol from 2017 to ensure we are taking accurate data. The second survey we are doing is an acoustic survey, where we record the bats echolocation calls and identify them. We use the Anabat Walkabout and the Echometer Touches that I had mentioned last week. It was really interesting to see the Anabat echolocation calls that we recorded! Further analysis will be needed to see exactly what species we recorded.
In total, there are 9 volunteers who are committed to this project which is a good number. To recruit them, we sent out an announcement to the Volunteer Newsletter. We did 6 sites on Thursday and Friday, Communications Center Barn, Stanford Barn, Howe Meadow Barn, Ice Box Cave, Ledges Shelter and Virginia Kendall Lake Shelter. Ice Box Cave and Ledges Shelter did not have any bats in it which was sad to see, Howe Meadow Barn had 52 bats, Communications Center Barn had 120 bats, Stanford Barn had 72 bats, and Virginia Kendall Lake Shelter had 123 bats. My favorite part about this round of surveying was seeing everyone’s reaction when they saw the bats come out of the buildings for the first time. Also being able to share with the public who would stop by and ask what we were doing was fun because it is always an opportunity to educate. This week we would like to go to 2 more locations in Cuyahoga Valley NP. I have to keep reminding myself that this is my job, as every day that goes by, it does not feel like work to me. It has been so much fun and I cannot wait to see what the next week hold for me!