After two weeks of teleworking I was finally able to get in my car and drive to my internship in Page, Arizona. Prior to getting here I was worried I would have difficulty adjusting to the hot desert and was not looking forward to hiking on my first day back. You see, since early March I have been practicing social distancing at home. Other than a trip to the store and a walk around my neighborhood with my dog, I haven’t been getting out much. For this reason, I was nervous my body would not be physically able to keep up with the strenuous hikes to our survey sites. However, once I arrived, I was pleasantly greeted by cool and cloudy days which made our first hikes much easier!
On my first day back, we hit the ground running and deployed four acoustic recorders in one of ten grid cells within the park. Since 2016, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has been following standardized protocols developed by the North American Bat Program to gather data on bat populations within the park. This year our small but mighty team will be focusing on surveying different habitat types by placing acoustic recorders in different vegetation zones. Using the data collected I will be building an occupancy model and creating a species distribution map. This information will help Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in their efforts to conserve healthy bat populations. By understanding what species are present within the park and what areas are important for these species, the park can focus on preserving and restoring valuable habitats.