The Mississippi Bat Working Group will be hosting its 15th Annual Mist Net Event at Trace State Park near Pontotoc, MS. Event dates are September 25-27, 2018, with check-in starting at 4pm on the 25th. This event is open to all people interested in bats, but you must be current on your rabies pre-exposure vaccination in order to handle bats. You can register online and pay the $20 registration fee at the event. An agenda, list of items to bring, and other useful information will be sent out to all participants in early September. If you have questions before then you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promoting bat research, conservation, and education
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 (email@example.com).
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.
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:
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…)
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.
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!
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.
MBWG members have provided their bat knowledge to Creature Comforts, a radio show produced by Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Our most recent appearances on Creature Comforts have been on March 31, 2016 and October 27, 2016. To check out these podcasts and more, visit MPB Online.
MBWG members hosted a ‘chiroptophobia’ booth at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science’s ‘Park After Dark’ event on Friday, October 28. Participants trick-or-treated throughout the museum and learned about the science behind their fears through fun games, challenges, and hands-on exploration stations. Museum staff and volunteers hosted 2,574 kids and adults at this annual event. (Photo courtesy of Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.)