First Indiana Bat

First Indiana bat of the year, that is! We caught her on May 29 and I’m pretty sure I literally jumped with excitement and skipped all the way back to the table, or maybe I was just so excited it felt like I did all of that.  I can’t really recall.

Indiana Bat from last year (I'm cheating and using a photo I took last year, sorry!)

Anyway, the point is, we still have Indiana bats in the area. I was getting a little nervous that White Nose Syndrome was hitting the bats harder than we thought in this area. Well, I’m sure it won’t take long, but for now we will  gather what information we can.  It often hits me really hard that bat populations are being completely wiped out.  I think I’m going to save that for another post, and try to focus on our recent finds.

We caught her in the Nantahala National Forest, recorded information, and I was able to apply my first transmitter to a bat.  She felt so small and frail while I held her and waited for the glue to dry on her back.  She was calm and didn’t even bite me once.  I can’t imagine how terrified she must have been, but soon her encounter was over as we let her fly off to finish foraging and head back to a roosting tree.

Also another I took from 2009, but this gives you an idea of the transmitter and bat size.

Joy, Caroline and Amanda tracked her yesterday.  Don’t worry, I’ll soon update what tracking entails, with photos of course.  She led them to a stand of pines with decent roost potential, however she was roosting solo.  Joy and Caroline are out tonight to see if she has moved to a new tree and joined a colony.

It seems weird not being out in the field for a couple of days, but I put in my days this past week.  I love the adventure of tracking a bat.  If all goes well, I’ll have plenty of opporunities this summer.

——-

That netting night also allowed me to see and handle my first ever Seminole bat (Lasiurus seminolus).  I’m bummed that I forgot my camera that night.  I took a few photos of our evening with Joy’s camera though.  I promise I’ll get better at updating with photos.

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