Mississippi Bat Working Group

Promoting bat research, conservation, and education

Join MBWG at 2019 Annual Membership Meeting

The Mississippi Bat Working Group will hold its annual membership and business meeting on February 12, 2019 at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, MS.  Membership is not required to attend this free meeting.  Speakers will share updates on research and monitoring activities related to the conservation of Mississippi’s native bats.  On-site registration begins at 8:45 and the meeting will be held from 9am to 2pm with a 1 hour lunch break. 

MBWG’s 15th Annual Mist Net Event September 25-26

The Mississippi Bat Working Group gathered at Trace State Park for the 15th Annual Mist Net Event.  Twenty-three bat enthusiasts netted two nights, covering 5 sites.  Despite unseasonal rainfall and localized flooding throughout the event, the group provided the first records for evening bats (Nycticeius humeralis) and eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis) in Pontotoc County.

The MBWG would like to thank our event sponsors, Chester Martin and Wildlife Abatement (Rob McKay) for their support, along with all of the volunteers who scouted netting locations, served as team leaders, and traveled from across the southeast (and from Hawaii!) to help collect data.  We hope to see you all next year!

MS Museum of Natural Science and US Fish and Wildlife Service Partner to Protect Bat Habitat

One of two steel gates installed at Pitts Cave in Wayne County. Photo: Nicole Hodges / MMNS

 

The Clarion Ledger recently featured the work of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in an article about Pitts Cave.  The agencies partnered with other volunteers this past summer to install two steel gates to prevent human access inside the cave.  Human activity within the cave can have negative – even if unintended – impacts on the hundreds of bats using the site as a maternity colony and wintering hibernacula.   Tricolored bats (Perimyotis subflavus) and Southeastern Myotis (Myotis austroriparius) are the two most common species documented inside the cave. 

B.A.T.S Workshop

Teachers play bat/moth at the B.A.T.S Workshop near Tupelo, MS / June 2018. Photo: Deb Waz/MDWFP

MDWFP staff hosted a B.A.T.S. (Baths and Teachers Seminar) workshop at the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tupelo in June.  Eleven teachers attended the event, which introduced participants to the bats of Mississippi through classroom sessions, hands-on activities, and a mist netting demo. 

Another workshop will be offered at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center on July 26, earning teachers 0.6 CEUs / 6 contact hours. For more information on the July event (or to reserve a spot) contact Mitch Robinson (mrrobinson@audubon.org).  

July 23 Bats of Tennessee Lecture

The Wolf River Conservancy has a summer lecture series, and the July 23 lecture is on the bats of Tennessee! Everyone welcome, please share with anyone that might be interested.  Lectures are at the Botanical Garden in Memphis.  Learn about the intriguing and important insect-eating bats that live in the Memphis area, how best to attract them, and why they need our help now more than ever—from bat expert Chris Grow. Chris completed his graduate work on bats at the University of Memphis under Dr. Michael Kennedy. For more information visit wolfriver.org.  

2018 Membership Meeting

Twenty-one bat enthusiasts met at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science on March 1, 2018 for the Mississippi Bat Working Group’s annual membership meeting.  The agenda included research and monitoring updates along with reporting on the MBWG’s 2017 accomplishments and plans for the coming year. 

Founding member Chester Martin recognized six members for their contributions to the MBWG’s mission:

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2018 Culvert Blitz

Photo: Katelin Cross/MDWFP

The 2nd Annual Culvert Blitz was held the weekend of January 5-7.  Participants included biologists and volunteers from across the state who inspected culverts for the presence of roosting bats.  In stark contrast to the unseasonably warm temperatures during last year’s survey, this year’s culvert blitz was marked by cold, icy conditions.  The results of the survey were exciting, as the MBWG completed 15 routes in the three-day survey period, checking a total of  234 culverts.  Over 3,000 bats were documented using the culverts, including tricolored bats (Perimyotis subflavus), Southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius), big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), Rafinesque’s big-eared bats (Corynorhinus rafinesquii), and Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis). (more…)

14th Annual Mist Net Event

The MBWG’s 14th Annual Mist Net Event was held in Amite and Pike counties in south Mississippi.  Twenty participants representing Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana gathered at Percy Quin State Park in McComb, Mississippi for two nights of mist netting.  Although the first night was slow, the group netted eight sites and collected data on twenty-one bats. Species captured included evening bats, eastern red bats, and big brown bats.  Thanks to all those who made this event possible, including our event sponsors, the Smith Family of Natchez and Chester Martin of Vicksburg.  

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NatureFest

Families got to visit the Mississippi Bat Working Group booth at the 2017 NatureFest, hosted by the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson.  Over 1,400 people attended NatureFest and learned about Mississippi’s natural resources this year!   Volunteers and staff from the Museum provided visitors with the opportunity to see live bats, and the MBWG also brought their photo station and fun activities for kids.   Thanks for all who stopped by to learn more about Mississippi’s wildlife!

Annual Meeting at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

The Mississippi Bat Working Group held its 2017 membership and business meeting at the Museum of Natural Science on Thursday, February 9. Over 40 biologists and land managers from state and federal conservation agencies, natural resource graduate students, wildlife rehabilitators, environmental educators, master gardeners, and other bat enthusiasts attended.  There was a full agenda, including research presentations, updates for on-going monitoring within the State, report-outs on the MBWG’s activities and accomplishments in 2016, and planning for the upcoming year.  

Tentative plans for outreach events include hosting a booth at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science’s NatureFest on April 1 and the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Wildlife Festival and BioBlitz in Tupelo, MS on April 22.  The 2017 mist net event will be held in September and potential locations include Copiah or Adams County.  A 2nd Annual Culvert Blitz will be organized for January 2018.  

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