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Kentucky: Mammoth Cave National Park

The National Park Service (NPS) recently renovated a man-made site known as Wondering Woods Bat Roost in Mammoth Cave National Park (MACA) for dedicated use by a colony of Rafinesque’s big-eared bats (Corynorhinus rafinesquii). Monitoring devices installed within the maternity roost will help researchers study the activity of bats within the colony. As part of the overall project, Biomark installed a PIT-tag detection system to detect individual PIT-tagged bats as they exit and enter the roost. The system includes two circular antennas, FS1001M multiplexing transceiver, CR1000 data logger with Ethernet interface, and a battery switching power supply. Monitoring and control of the transceiver can be achieved remotely along with the collection of PIT-tag detections and system diagnostics.
This spring (April, 2011), Steven Thomas (NPS, vertebrate ecologist stationed at MACA) coordinated a visit with Dr. Timothy Carter and students from Ball State University to PIT-tag and collect information about individual bats at the Wondering Woods Bat Roost. Since the first night of operation, the PIT-tag detection system has recorded thousands of detection events from 65 PIT-tagged Rafinesque’s big-eared bats as they leave and return to the roost during nightly feeding trips.
Not far from Wondering Woods Bat Roost, the NPS and Bat Conservation International built two additional artificial roosts to provide shelter for bats. Researchers routinely scan the exterior of the concrete block roosts with a FS2001F-ISO transceiver and portable antenna to detect any PIT-tagged bats that may be inside. Within days of the initial PIT-tagging effort at the maternity roost at Wondering Woods, researchers detected PIT-tagged Rafinesque’s big-eared bats in these other artificial roosts.
These data will provide researchers with valuable information to examine seasonal and annual usage of man-made roosts and how patterns of use vary among sex and age classes and reproductive status within the park. Such data may have added importance as a deadly fungal disease affecting several species of hibernating bats called White-Nose Syndrome continues to move towards MACA.


Project Summary

Application Description:

Monitor PIT-tagged Rafunesque's big-eared bats at Wondering Woods Bat Roost


National Park Service
Bat Conservation International
Ball State University


Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky USA

Products Used:

Transceiver: FS1001M
Antenna: 2 - circular custom built pass-through antennas
Communication & Data Logger: CR1000 with Ethernet interface
Power: Biomark Battery Switching Power Supply

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