PubTalk 09/2019 — Bats in the West

Stand by for realtime captioning.
>>Good evening everyone. Will come to the USGS for this public lecture. I made geologic
map editor. Thank you for being here. Before we get into the introduction, quick reminder,
October lecture will be here on October 10. It’s very early. To remind yourself and it
looks like you have, pick up a flyer in the back. That will be the anniversary of the
Loma Prieta earthquake and feature different speakers. Today’s lecture is on bats in the
West , discoveries, questions and to research. Dave is a biologist with the Western research
center. For those who are not familiar with, but is the center of the Central Valley California.
Dave started here in 2016 after completing his Masters at Humboldt State University reset
of the social behavior of bats which are solitary and auditory. He also worked for several years
in consulting primarily working on the effects of energy effects on wildlife. He is currently
focusing on the ecology Western bat and population monitoring techniques to help fill in and
improve conservation and management. Besides all of those, he is also an enthusiast of
parasites, and insects. Please join me in welcoming our speaker. [ Applause ]
>>Hello everyone.>>>Thanks for coming. Just a quick overview
of what I will be discussing. We will quickly go over that evolution and diversity, the
ecological importance of bats, conservation, challenges and issues and research methods
we use to study bats.>>>And putting it all together into our research
program.>>The word that means hand wing. Their finger
bones are elongated which makes up the structure of the wing. Evolution of bats was a mystery.
People were looking at fossils for long time but this is one of the oldest examples of
the bat fossil from about 50 million years ago discovered in Wyoming and it looks very
much like a modern bat. It has the same features, it can echo locate already. Recently, evidence
base, I’m going to stumble through these names. The ancestors include ancestors of whales
and camels. I just don’t move.>>[ Laughter ]
>>Have common ancestors with camel, and whales. That’s interesting, they’re not at all related
to rodents. Or shrews or things like that.>>There are two sub orders I used to be easier
to remember, there were the old world fruit bats and everything else. Now, they recognize
as including the old world fruit bats, those over here that look like flying foxes and
also the family, these are all old world bats that are widespread throughout Africa, Southeast
Asia, Asia but don’t occur in the Americas.>>>The other suborder previously known as
the micro. These are thought of as micro-bats that evolved to eat insects. They have diversified
quite a lot. This is a typical map you see here. This medicine of diversity and ecological
niche, feeding behaviors and everything. Stuck in Central America, we have these guys which
are the Honduran white bats. They get their white coloration because they form little
tense that they live in by chewing on leaves. If you’re ever in the jungle and you look
up you will see lots of lights coming through, the white, coloration may help with camouflage
in that situation.>>These cute little ones smiling at you are
vampire bats. Two species specialize in mammalian and one on bird blood, they have anticoagulants
in the saliva so when they feed they make a little Nick for the teeth and they laugh
up the blood like a kitten. There testing to study for reciprocal altruism where they
will feed each other if they were able to be successfully.
>>There are couple species that have evolved to each fish. This is the bulldog bat also
found in Central and South America. They have these giant feet and they can detect swimming
up to the service and then scooped them up and eat them. This is about that takes off
and all the lumps on his chin, it’s not those might be chemicals sensory organs which they
use to identify whether their prey is safe to eat or not and they use them because their
hunting frogs. They listen for frogs calling and go down and tap them quickly and if it’s
palatable, they will gobbled up and it’s not, do not call themselves eating poisonous frogs.
>>I have no idea what the species is [ Laughter ] . I will leave that there.
>>Out likely we have locally in the greater Bay Area we have 16 species and two families.
While there is a bunch of commonalities at all of our local
bats, they all eat insects, they all live fairly long times for animals their size and
for the most part have one or two pups per year. There’s quite a lot of variation in
their ecology. We have some that are migratory and largely solitary. Most of these species
are pre-social. When they the ecology, about like this might forge for little insects emerging
off of the surface of the pond, whereas this bat is going to go after much larger prey.
>>The genus is a pretty common and widespread throughout the world. Here, we have species.
Like I said, some specialize in aquatic emergent insects. Others like this on left side is
the Western long year and this is a gleaning species. They detect prey sitting on leaves
and scoop it up so they’re not going after flying pray as much in their specialized for
the cluttered interior forest.>>This listens for prey walking on the ground.
There will hear crickets, scorpions, large beetles and land on the ground and get stung
a bunch and have a little battle and fly off with it. They are an incredible species to
work with. We have them in several of our study areas. This is a species I did my Masters
on. They have a description of their fur, it’s not a discussion of their mating system.
There along distant migrant. The fee must travel up north to Canada to raise their pups.
The mail seem to migrate not quite as far. If you look at distribution maps and people
who are working on trying to figure out the movement patterns, it becomes a confusing
mess. We barely understand their movement patterns it’s fascinating. The species are
solitary in the foliage’s tree is, they will just hang on the branch of a redwood tree
in looks like a little pinecone or something.>>It’s also the only native land mammal in
Hawaii which is a testament to their amazing findability. During migration presumably they
flew off the coast of California, ended up in Hawaii and there is evidence they have
done that several times and now there is an endangered subspecies. There the second largest
bat in the U.S.>>There about 25 grams. Five Nichols.
>>An example of free tail bats, this is the Mexican free tail back, the species of open-air
forager, their specialized to hunt prey high up in the sky, flying thousands of feet up
in a form large maternity colonies. Some of the giant back caves in Texas have four 5
million bats, that’s this species. They are Margaret Terry and some parts of the range.
They occur in Brazil as well. I’m not sure.>>Why study bats? I would argue they are
an amazing, underappreciated and understudied member of our ecosystem. There is an incredible
amount of diversity, currently there are 1408 recognize species in the world and that represents
about 20%, almost a quarter of mammalian diversity. There present on every continent except for
Antarctica. That works for me as a reason to focus on them. Also, they provide really
important ecosystem services. An example is, their importance to agriculture. Most that’s
in North America are insects of arrests and eat a lot of bugs. Some can eat 1000 mosquitoes
in an hour. Half their body weight in one night and they are voracious predators. And
trying to quantify the benefits for agriculture, you have to experiments where they exclude
bats from agricultural plots. They’ll put netting over portions of fields at night and
not let that’s come in and then open it so birds can still get in and they find there
is increased insect damage to those crops, increased numbers of caterpillars and things
that farmers don’t like to have to deal with.>>Endless papers from studies primarily looking
at agriculture in Texas, looking at corn and cotton. They quantify the avoided cost of
value of services bats provide at $74 an acre. That’s form is not having to apply pesticides
and not losing crops to damage. If you extrapolate that across the country, you get into billions
of dollars in services provided. The minimum value is about 3 billion and could potentially
be in tens of billions of dollars in services.>>Also, most bats in the Americas are insect
arrest, there are two species not in the Americas, in the U.S.. There are two that are nectar
feeding specialist. The long those that specialize on drinking nectar from night blooming agave
and cactus. Agave are an important crop to produce tequila with. This is a study published
by USGS authors. They were studying these nectar feeding bats in the northern part of
their range during migration and looking at their movements patterns and foraging. Normally
when you have these that feed on similar types of things, they try and partition the resources
they are not competing directly with each other. However in this range, both species
migrate into similar area that turns out is similar caves, they commingle with each other
and forage in similar habitats. The caves they were roosting and were about 20 kilometers
away from their fortune Grassley would make that trip back and forth throughout the night.
>>One of these species was an endangered species and a lot of work by U.S. and Max
and Mexican bat biologist worked to protect important cave resources and study their movement
and ecology and they were unlisted.>>Colleague at the Institute of ecology at
the University of Mexico recognize the importance of these bats to agave but in tequila protection
in the importance vice versa. When bats pollinate the agave, then increases the genetic diversity
of the agave and I can allow them to withstand changes like emerging diseases or climate
change. The plants might be more resilience to that.
>>He worked to develop a bat friendly tequila syndication were producers agreed to allow
a certain proportion of their agave to go to Florida for harvesting and that provides
food resources for these bats during migration. It’s a cool win-win story and they’re starting
to send more and more bat friendly tequila to the U.S.
>>I’m going to switch gears and talk about conservation concerns.
>>Bats, like most species of wildlife have to deal with common issues like habitat loss.
The might not be enough land as it used to be in that will have an effect it also certain
parts of the world, hunting and harassment. Some parts of the world, people hunt that’s
for food, and other places does let a stigma associated with that some people might destroy
intentionally or otherwise bats habitats because they are free to bats.
>>However, recently, this is a paper published a few years ago at the USGS Fort Collins science
center. They were looking at mass mortality events and they searched the literature for
times when lots of bats died and looked at that over time. Coming back, starting in the
1800s, there would be these outbreaks, there be hunting, various things like that would
carry on. Since about the year 2000, mass mortality events started to increase in the
two things that increased our wind turbines in white nares syndrome. These are large things
that are affecting bat population potentially which are some of the big focuses of our research
now.>>White noise is a pathogen that kills bats.
It gets its name from these things that — is caused by a fungus. Is actually widespread
throughout Europe and Asia. In Europe and Asia, the range that presumably he evolved
in, bats get infected occasionally they show symptoms from it. It doesn’t cause mass mortality.
Is probably a mild annoyance like athlete’s foot. However, it was introduce them into
the Americas and the exposed bats in the Americas have been causing huge mortality in some populations
and some areas.>>It attacks the bat tissues while they hibernate.
Bats go into torpor which means they slow down their metabolic rates, slow down there
breathing and suppress their immune system and they do that to survive long winters when
they cannot forage successfully. During that time period, the growth temperature, they
also have a suppressed immune systems they cannot mount a defense against it and they
start to rouse frequently from irritation and they burn through their fat reserves before
they can forage successfully in the spring.>>Some species and some can see upwards of
90% mortality. This is a bit updated but as of 2012, there was over 6.7 million bats affected.
>>This is a map the USGS national wildlife Center has. They update this weekly with our
new records and you can see the cursor shows up, here in Albany, this is basically Ground
Zero for the infection starting in the Americas and probably 2005. It started to spread out,
how you would expect a bat to bat transmitted disease would spread. Every now and then there
are some gems but in 2016, jumped to Washington state. That could have been transported perhaps
on a human who had been inside a cave and got exposed shortly after went somewhere in
Washington that bats were or it could have been inadvertently transported by an infected
bat being moved in a shipping container or truck. They’re not sure how it jumped to that
location.>>That was concerning because it was such
a large jump and it caught bat researchers offguard. Recently, we had some detections
in California and that means the labs that are testing, we serve ill by swabbing bats
and sending the swabs to the wildlife Health Center and they do quantity on it. Sometimes
they get results where they detect something below the positive threshold they would consider
a positive time for infection I could be a false positive, it could just be a very low
concentration of the pathogen. And so, there were four detections at the same site over
two years. That was concerning in California decided to go public with the findings to
increase research on the area and increase caution on bat research and people who might
be entering caves.>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic
]>>It was detected in a maternity colony.
And then a town.>>
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>She asked what accounts for the pattern how moves across the country. I’m not exactly
sure. It started radiating from the site and part of it could be overlapping with where
large bats are. Kind of along where you have large caves. Some of the detections sites
like down in Texas, the fungus is spreading around you’re not seeing signs of the disease
there because it doesn’t get cold enough for bats to hibernate. They are transported the
fungus around but not suffering disease symptoms.>>The other big issue is wind energy departments.
Wind energy is increasingly popular, carbon neutral source energy that is widespread throughout
the world. Early on, and the development of facilities, people were concerned about bird
fatalities. They would got in survey look for dead things to want by impacts this might
have on birds and they found during certain times of the year, and certain site that was
strut they will start to see lots of bats. They would find dozens in a day. A paper in
2008 to look at the patterns of bats fatalities across wind energy facilities in North America,
they look at the species composition and then they found the hoary bat account for almost
half of the fatalities and wind energy sites and other highly impacted species include
the eastern red bat and the silver haired bat and these are all migratory species of
bats. This seems to be a subset of species that are being impacted by wind energy and
other sites occur, other species suffer fatalities at lower rates. The thing about hoary bats,
they are impossible to study. They fly really high so we don’t really have of the population
sizes. Is concerning to see these fatality rates across wind energy sites. We don’t know
what kind of impact that will have.>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic
]>>She asked how high they fly. There are
accounts of a plane striking hoary bats at 8000 feet. Summit at this Mazzoni and can
look at the wildlife basin that. We don’t know how common that is or if that was a fluke.
They potentially do fly as high as Mexican free tail bats.
>>There is a hoary bats. The study published a couple weeks ago was looking at an acoustic
monitoring data monitoring program to conducted in Washington from the year 2000 two more
recent nationwide bat monitoring program called any bat which is managed by the U.S. geological
survey. They were estimating occupancy rates. Occupancy is a measure of how likely is species
occurs in the area. You can kind of think of it as an index of population but not exactly.
They compared occupancy rates earlier to more recent from the more recent survey efforts.
On the right-hand, this is the older data you can see everywhere that suggest a high
occupancy rates and as you get into more ships that slower. On left hand side, this is the
more recent survey results. This is just a regionwide decline in occupancy. And wind
energy is thought to be the primary factor behind this. It’s a really interesting and
creative way to try and hit a publishing transmitter requires a lot of research to get those baseline
data.>>Right now, we don’t have those kinds of
data for comparison.>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic
]>>How do we learn about wild bats? They’re
tricky to study. They are largely silent to our years. They fly high, they get into really
small nooks and crannies. There out at night when most people are asleep. Unless you decide
to become a bat biologist. One of the techniques that has been really helpful is monitoring.
This exploits the trait bats used to navigate prayer with Eckel okay. Bats produce echolocation
fairly regularly and species will have echolocation that are adaptive to help them navigate through
the environment they live in and catch the prey the hands.
>>This is an example of a bats pass which is what we call a series of echolocation calls.
On the y-axis you have frequency and kilohertz, how high-pitched is a sound? On the x-axis
you have time in milliseconds. Human hearing goes up to about 20 kilohertz. If you are
a young kid who has since gone to a lot of rock concerts or made other poor decisions
in life, and as you get older, the upper range of your hearing will start to decrease. In
older adults it may be like 15 kilohertz or so.
>>This bats produces calls that start at hundred kilohertz and sweep down to 50. This
provides a lot of detail about tiny prey. You can identify that. Know when they flew
by the microphone.>>The programs work by comparing calls recorded
in the wild to know reference libraries. Researchers will go out, catch bats and release them and
record the calls you have species in the call attached.
>>However, unlike birds which evolved their songs to communicate and differentiate from
other species, bats that hunt for similar sized prayer and similar habitats in similar
sizes, there calls the vault looks someone will end up with multiple species have similarly
shaped calls. This is two different species and the difference is subtle. The California
has more of a tale that dips down at the end’s. The other has a knee. There’s a more abrupt
break into the lower part. Besides that, these are very similar. A lot of times you cannot
definitively ID calls on species.>>Other issues, publishing counts. It this
doesn’t give you that, tells you how me times a bat flew by. I don’t know if you’re getting
one in circles hundred times or hundred flying by once. That is one of the drawbacks. One
of the benefits is you can record a lot of data. You put these in habitats that might
be difficult to sample with other methods.>>One of the main ways we catch bats for
studying is with netting. Picture a giant volleyball met Balaban that with really fine-mesh.
The bats will come along and ones that are paying attention can detect that you will
see them go right over the top or underneath. The ones that aren’t paying attention, we
can catch. They will get tangled up and we carefully extract them and then we can take
them in process them in record lots of biologic data so we can determine the species, reproductive
status, the sex, we can also take tissue samples for genetic exit genetic analysis and attach
tracking devices.>>After, we let them go and often they’re
very feisty and you try to let them go and they just sit there and they often need a
little help to be on the way.>>There is also many visual techniques we
used to study bats. Often this can be as simple as counting bats were they are easy to counts.
This is a paper published by my supervisor. This was on 25 years of monitoring a bat colony
and portray us. They are very sensitive to disturbance. There is species of special concern.
They often will just be in the open ceiling of their arrest and if people disturb them,
they abandon their young and feel as maternity colony for the season. There is a house there
that we have been monitoring. It was started years and years ago. ESA night vision scope
with infrared spotlight so that I vision can see the light but the bats can’t. We have
a little cow to repress one button every time a bat flies out every time one flies in, another
button. If feels like a brain training grant where you just sit there in our half hitting
buttons. And at the end of the night, you have account of a number of bats in the roost
that night.>>Using that data, looking at the trend over
time, they found comparing the population to the number of successful or unsuccessful
break-ins in the house were kids going to drink or stay there for little bit. They found
every time there was a break in attempts, the bat population would crash and not do
as well. The park service started securing the house, they put these big locks on it,
security cameras and checking on it making sure people didn’t disturb it and they were
managing it to the bats. The number of break-ins decreased dramatically in the publishing has
been steadily increasing since then.>>This video didn’t work. I have one on YouTube.
You can also use visual techniques to try to study bats as they are doing their batlike
things, flying around in the environment. At four columns they have been using thermal
cameras to try and study that behavior at wind turbines. This is about 300 feet up in
the air. It’s an 80 meter wind turbine and you can see these bats flying around and using
this data to try and learn about why bats might be vulnerable to wind turbine strike
and hopefully that will lead to solutions.>>Is a very creative way to try and study
bats in their natural habitat.>>Less, tracking techniques. If you’re studying
flying foxes. These massive bats, they had these great GPS trackers. On the right side
you can see a tracker oftentimes these will have solar panels on them. They record GPS
locations you can go back to Europe office and get emails about the bat location and
they have really nice movement data. However, a lot of bats we are studying our tiny. Many
weigh about as much as a nickel. We have to work with much more limited battery space,
limited technology we have these amazing radio transmitters that we can glue onto bats and
they emit a simple beep. The battery lasts a week to two weeks in the trackers way about
.2-.5 grams for some smaller bats we are tracking. That’s how we are trying to study movements
around here. Hopefully over time, the technology will get utter in a GPS tax would get small
enough where I can sit in my office I get emails. Until then, we have to run around
after the bats using antenna to study them. We have tags that way about a gram at the
Dutch has been data see how to recapture the bats to get your data which can be challenging,
especially when studying migratory animals.>>I will talk now about putting it all together.
Our thought process and designing project we are doing. When I started at USGS, we are
working on projects we wanted to address research needs. Academic things that can help us understand
and help manage bats in the future. How will white nose syndrome affect bats in the Western
U.S. How do we monitor populations? We also want to address management needs of our Department
of Interior partners that can be what habitats are important, how are the populations doing?
Do we need to make any management decisions? In 2016, a collaboration set up by the Goldengate
national Parks Conservancy members of national Park, state parks, water district and county
parks published the help of the non-report where they tried to quantify all the factors
and they had great trim lines on how the population was doing, all these other species of wildlife
but bats were identified as major data gap with they didn’t snow was species were there,
where their rare species that might be in the area and how were the populations doing?
>>We developed a project with them where we set up these goals. Study the not terminal
nocturnal habitats. Learn more about forestry habitat which is basically all the species
in the area. What types of teachers are important and then, fill in the data gaps to give land
managers better information to inform their long-term conservation of the populations.
>>We replicated this project we started and we are also doing a parallel project in pinnacle.
>>First to address the natural habitat associations we are using monitoring to address that. For
the first year we didn’t want to make any assumptions about bats. We decided to select
50 random locations across all the different habitat types. For the summer we would take
a bat detector to each location and place it there for one week and then we had six
detectors we randomly rotated across all our 50 sites.
>>Then, we have program that’s classified that’s calls to species and then I decided
to manually that all the calls we recorded which meant looking at 60,000 that calls and
was a terrible decision but it did improve our results.
>>We recorded various habitat metrics at the sites and while working on the multi-species
occupancy models integrating result from all the different species. We are still in the
process of that and I’ll present single species models here.
>>Our focal area was basically all public lands in Marin County. This is the random
location we selected and you have a lot of points in these larger contiguous areas of
protected habitat. We also have several types very close to urban. Urban and suburban development
and more isolated. We would go out and set up a detector on a 20 foot hole and therefore
we can go back and get the data. So, we collected over 60,000 files that passed the tolerance
scrubber to remove diverse noise from our files. We were left a 12,500 files with bats
after me looking at all of them and again, terrible decision. Stuck after doing manual
studying we detected 13 out of 13 species which are all the species we expected to occur
in the area. This was a lot of numbers, I won’t go into too much. I want to focus on
the types of species detected as you can see some like the California and Mexican free
tailed bat were very widespread and occurred much throughout everywhere were several other
species were much more restricted. Especially this
is a harder species to detect.>>This is a more fun way to look at the same
data. This is just a number of species detected at each site. Larger dots have more species.
The largest have 11 species in several on the coast had one or sometimes no species
detected. This is what you would expect. There are lots of species in the larger protected
areas. We have some site in Eastern Marin where we had lots of species in these sites
were actually surrounded by water district land were these Giants treatment ponds which
are huge march and that explains why it’s such a productive habitats for that site.
>>After our initial year of the 50 random points we have protocols outlined in the monitoring
program and this is where potentially place your microphones and locations you expect
to be with lots of bats. This could be riparian or along ponds or edges of forest, things
like that. You leave them for four nights instead of one week. This data we will use
over time to look at occupancy trends to see if there is any issues of concern or fats
seem they are stable and this will also be provided to the California and nationwide
efforts to monitor that occupancy.>>These are the locations we use for bats
data. The entire continent is broken into grids. Each 10 kilometer grid is broken into
quadrants and one detector in each quadrant. That’s what you see here. Really have two
years of data is not long enough to establish lines. This is the first path of data for
generating this long-term. You can see, on the y-axis you have a number of sites each
bat species detected. On the x-axis it was a different species and so blue is 2018 the
first year and greenest 2019. You have little increases and decreases for most species which
is about what she would expect. There are some things like the Western red that you
can see big decline. I wouldn’t be too concerned with that with only two years of data but
over time you’ll be able to see is it a long-term trend we need to worry about or is that just
a blip where we detect as many that your for some reason.
>>To look at roosting habitat, we use radio tracking. This was the touching little radio
transmitters to bats and following them into the jungle or forest and studying what kinds
of habitats and counting as they emerge in quantifying their habitat preferences.
>>We conducted radio tracking during summer and winter. The summer season is important
for bat population because that is the maternity season where females form maternity colonies
and their habitat requirements are important for the bat population. We also conducted
in the winter because we know next to nothing about what the bats do in the winter.
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>>>Torpor and hibernation are very synonymous.
Hibernation is a long-term torpor. When they go into torpor, that’s when they drop their
body temperatures.>>That’s one of the reasons we are doing
this. In this area, it’s a mildly see bats fly around in the winter so we don’t know
how long they are in torpor and how that might affect the severity of white nose syndrome
in the area.>>We are midway through this research so
this is not synthesized but this is the show the diversity of species we study in the types
of roosts we find. We are finding paths and trees and buildings. Some are moving between
trees and buildings. They will frequently change roosts every couple nights and we have
some they’ll be in a tree one day and a building the next day. They keep us on our toes.
>>We have a similar species but different habitat where there’s lots of trees also,
lots of nice oak trees that have lots of cavities but lots of rock features as well that they
can roost into and there we find lots of bats.>>This is an example of the California that
we tracked and went to this giant first. The tree with 80 meters tall and the bats were
near the very top. About 14 California bats flew out of in the bat was there for several
nights and then moved to another similar tree just down the way.
>>Hoary bats, someone asked whether they hibernate or not. They are thought of as a
migratory species. Reasonably they migrates they don’t have to hibernate. However, we
were to checked them in the winter where did leave for two weeks. This could have migrated
to the area but was also hibernating in this is, I checked with the forest service in Northern
California with a lot of that research up there. He found similar results with which
are tracking where the bats might be migrating to the area but they’re going for long periods
of time without moving during the winter as well.
>>This is just another example that we found. My colleague is pointing in a little wood
panel we tracked about from 20 feet where we caught it there were four others up in
a which it. It was there for several nights and then it moved three quarters of a mile
to this on the lower right. 27 bats emerged from that tree. This was during the maternity
season and this was a really productive female bats that was really interesting.
>>We also had a male California my Otis going to this little branch on a fallen down tree.
There are some bark and we could see his little antenna sticking out of it just went to the
same spot night after night, day after day.[ Laughter ] It was three feet off the ground,
this little spindly stick coming off a downed tree.
>>We have lots of rocky habitats. We had bats there in these large rocky outcrops where
there was a maternity colony were dozens and dozens of bats emerged and we got one of our
colleagues from Park service to check in on a couple days later another was nothing. It
turns out that’s pretty common where in other studies they have tracked them they found
the entire colony will switch locations every 3-4 days throughout the summer. Tried to think
about monitoring the population ask my head spend. Trying to keep up with that for the
entire colony is hopping around the landscape. We also had a bat, single male under this
little crevice by feet off the ground in this tiny little gap or my pencil is pointing.
Invariably, half of our bats will go to these massive cliff features. This is our colleague
with the National Park Service descending down to try to find this bats that was roosting
in a crack to quantify that habitat we are getting trained in these methods so we can
help.>>It’s incredible the places they can get
to.>>They also constantly surprises. We had
one French roost on the side of a bank. We were tracking it’s, this lovely she would
lots of cavities and were staying at it for a while and then I put my antenna relies was
down and to the left and actually attracted to this little place on the ground. We had
when we are tracking up going from tree to tree and there were lots of crevices for its
height in and then we lost the signal which is typical while doing these studies. A couple
days later were tracking some bats there in a building close to downtown and we picked
up a signal and tracked to a ventilation system on the porch of a sushi Russian restaurant.
We’re poking around and we don’t, we saw the bat had dropped his transmitter in the ventilation
system or for had action and there. We had a sushi bat which was a surprise.
>>These projects, we are midway through we hope to be able to provide important data
to the lab manager so they can better know what kinds of habitat are important for their
bats population and come up with more effective ways to monitor and manage bat populations.
This is also important data for figure out how bad publishers respond to habitat loss,
climate change, white nose syndrome and other pressures they may face.
>>We are developing our projects to look at Western bats and other habitats so we were
about to go to Sequoia national Park or we will try and study bats as they transition
from fall in the wintertime because it turns out the bats don’t actually hibernate except
for one or two species. This is the kind of work we are trying to do to figure out where
they’re going and that can provide clues as to how they may respond to white nose syndrome
because not being in a cave may affect transition dynamics that make the lit severe disease.
It may also make monitoring difficult.>>I want to thank my supervisor for letting
me run around and chase bats all over the West. Thank all of you for joining me in all
project partners. When I was 20 to get into bats, I would always hear about USGS and it
was this amazing organization with all this mere cutting-edge science and it has been
such a privilege to be able to do these projects with them. Thank you and I have time for some
questions. [ Applause ]>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic
]>>Some bats are known to live over 30 years.
Little tiny brown bats there banded 34 years ago, things like that. It isn’t in the it
is an abnormally long time. Some species are known to live 8 to 12 years. They are not
like mice or rats with a live one-three years. They live a long time.
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>People are working on different ways to reduce risks they’re trying to study ultrasonic
deterrence with a blast a bunch of noise it makes a terrible place to hang out if you
are a bats. You can also change so the turbine still start working until the wind is higher
for most of the fatalities are on nights when many on the turbine are operating but not
when they’re trying to fly around and forge. People are working on a variety of methods
try and reduce the fatality rates. There are some promising things out there but none have
been super lively yet.>>
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>It depends. Some of those large congregations under bridges or in caves, there’s the high
vernacular during the winter. We don’t have that in the Western U.S. as far as we can
tell. Bridges a lot of times those are maternity colonies. Mexican free tail bats and others
posses another species will, some will stay put through out the maternity season and stay
in the same habitat. We are finding a lot of the bats that are more transient resources
using things that are decaying and move through the entire attorney season. You have a colony
in my be a network where there’s larger network of bats among themselves or, we don’t know
how. It seems like the whole colony is moving at once that might be to disrupt parasite
cycles. Or could be some other reason.>>It seems like a lot of bats move frequently
in natural habitats.>>Thank you for your presentation.
>>Is not known for sure, it’s presumed it was brought on a person. Likely somebody who
was checking out caves in Europe and then showed up in a cave, a heavily trafficked
tourist cave here.>>
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>Our acoustic monitoring is primarily here in the summertime. We don’t have too many
migratory bats. We kind of go into the migration period. I have created work in that area focus
on migratory bats. The spring and fall. It seems like it’s a migratory hotspot we would
capture 10 or 12 hoary bats was normally there’s more. That’s something we weren’t focused
on for the main part of the research but we are interested in working on that angle as
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>>>That’s a really good question. Ice studied
hoary bats. They’re not very social. There thought of a solitary and their calls are
simple. They are the equivalent of hey, I’m here or get out of here. Other species that
are really social and have more complex social structures like Mexican free tail bats, I
don’t know too much about the language abilities of a lot of North American bats but they have
found evidence of babbling, very complex vocal repertory. And so species they found that
26 distinct syllables and string them together. Some of their vocal quotation can get pretty
comp located. They have all these little different songs they used to impress.
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>That’s a really good question which I don’t know the answer to. I can think of, bats are
normally very social already they often congregate at night. Different species will roost together
nationally naturally. Focusing just on their keeping them separate might not affect transmission
rates. If it’s a really good habitats that allows the bat population to be productive,
that may play a factor in their conservation. I can’t think of pros and cons.
>>>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic
>>They are nocturnal because they can echo locate. I would imagine, maybe originally
I can think of a couple reasons. There’s a lot more insect activity at nights. The night
sky has more mods and things like that. They don’t have to deal with hocks.
>>What is their natural predator?>>For the most part, they don’t have huge
predators that take off large parts of their population. Some hocks will specialize in
bats or learn bats patterns and go hang out where lots of bats emerge and pick them off.
Raccoons make some solitary bets will be harassed.>>Owls catch bats at night. None of them
are massive focus predators of bats. Also essential and Central and South America there
are bats that lead other bats.>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic
>>There is some evidence, some have declined attributed to sect insecticide. I know people
are studying that’s and have found insecticides and pesticides will affect their neurology
and other ways. It’s not a huge area of my expertise. There are potential impacts in
people are studying that.>>
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>There is a lot of work going into studying how, the fungus being widespread throughout
Europe and Asia as providing a lot of clues house how they may adapt. They found they
adapt by just tolerating it. They don’t mount an aggressive immune response. That could
be part of it. They also co-involved or could’ve caused annotations period also, larger bats
that have larger or shorter winter period they will have lower mortality rates as well.
We don’t have too much evidence yet that North American bats are responding with similar
adaptations but we do see different levels of impact on different species. Bats in Europe
and Asia that have very similar ecology persist with it. Hopefully that’s promising.>>
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>That is a big question I don’t know too much about but it is a very good question.
Some bats, more urban adapted bats will go and forge around streetlights because insects
are attracted to them and they will cruise back and forth. There certain areas lights
attract bats. Some learn to love that and it’s a great foraging habitats. Others are
much more sensitive and feel more comfortable in the shadows and may not like to feel so
exposed. There is a theory of lunar phobia which I don’t buy. In general, with the full
moon, you don’t catch as many bats. People think that’s because the bats avoid being out in
the bright lights that could be in effect. We are radio tracking bats and during a full
moon, we didn’t catch any but all the bats that had radio tags we could detect them flying
around.>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic
]>>You can get a bats detector to see how
many are in your own backyard. [ Laughter ] Their different
models you can hook up to a smart phone or tablets. All the difference algorithms come
with a grain of salt or disclaimer they’re not hundred percent. There are lots that you
can go out at night and you can see in the we realize there are bats flying all over. You can record their
calls and figure out what species you have.>>
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>>>They using machine learning and neural
networks. Bats don’t have super consistent location calls. They will adjust their calls
based on habitat and what they are doing. That creates a lot of variation within the
species. I know there has been where they have been able to train algorithms to detect
individuals and the potential is there. I think it’s a problem. The bats are very plastic
in their calls.>>There is potential.
>>It looks like it’s time to wrap up. Think everyone we thank everyone for coming. October
10 is our next meeting.[ Event Concluded ]

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