The MBWG met on January 23, 2013 for the 11th Annual Meeting. Twenty-six people attended the event, representing several research and educational institutions, state and federal agencies, private companies, non-profit organizations, and the general public. There was a full agenda including research updates, committee report outs, and an in-depth discussion of state-level conservation needs that the MBWG can move forward.
9:00 – 9:15 am Registration
9:15 – 9:30 am Welcome, introductions, housekeeping
9:30 – 9:50 am Phenological study of bat communities in South Mississippi caves – Zachary U. Roth and David C. Beckett, University of Southern Mississippi
9:50 – 10:10 am Monitoring bat use of Mississippi caves: implications for white nose syndromes – Kathy Shelton, Mississippi Museum of Natrual Science
10:10 – 10:30 am Bat surveys in Louisiana with an emphasis on the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), and silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) – Alison McCartney, Bureau of Land Management
10:30 – 10:40 am Break
10:40 – 11:00 am Mobile acoustical bat monitoring, FWS landscape level conservation initiative – Dave Richardsone, USFWS
11:00 – 11:20 am The occurrence of rabies in bats in Mississippi – Carla Boutwell, MS Department of Health
11:20 – 11:25 am White nose syndrome update – Kathy Sheltong
11:25 – 11: 30 am Updates from SBDN – Darren Miller
11:30 – 12:30 pm Lunch
12:30 – 1:00 pm Summary of the 2012 mist net event and plans for 2013 – Becky Rosamond
1:00 – 1:20 pm Update on artificial roost and bat house projects – Shea Staten, US Army Corps of Engineers
1:20 – 1:40 pm Update from bridge committee – Stephanie Steele, US Forest Service
1:40 – 2:00 pm Education and Outreach committee
2:00 – 2:10 pm New harp trap available – Brigg Abercrombie, Forestry Suppliers
2:10 – 2:15 pm Break
2:15 – 2:45 pm
- Secretary/Treasurer Report, update on non-profit status – Stephanie Steele
- Accomplishments and awards for 2012 – Chester Martin
2:45 – 3:30 pm New Business
- NatureFest at MS Museum of Natural Science, April 6
- Upcoming educational programs
- MDOT grant proposal
- State’s needs – how can we best support bat conservation efforts in Mississippi?
3:30 pm Adjourn
On January 23, 2013 the MBWG met at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) for its 11th Annual Meeting. A variety of presenters representing various agencies, private companies, and research institutions present updates on research and happenings in bat conservation. Becky Rosamond provided updates on the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network (SBDN), including their annual meeting to be held on February 14-15 in Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee. Their bat blitz is to be held in Oklahoma from July 28-August 1 and elections are underway, closing on February 1. The SBDN is still working on a Rafinesque’s big-eard bat / southeastern myotis conservation strategy and if you aren’t a member of SBDN please consider joining the group.
The 2012 mist net event held July 24-26, 2012 at the Chickasawhay Ranger District of DeSoto National Forest included net sites in Jones and Wayne counties. A total of 14 bats representing four species were captured and the gruop visited Pitts and Triple H caves during the event. The 2013 event will be held in Neshoba County on Choctaw Indian Land near Philadelphia, MS. The potential dates are August 6-9, but other times and conflicts were noted, including local fairs and festivals.
Shea Staten provided an update on the artificial bat roost and bat house projects. Currently there are known bat houses in 21 of 82 counties in Mississippi and the group would like to have a bat house in every county. Through donations the group purchased eight bat houses to be placed in south Mississippi. A tower was built near a known bat roost in Lafayette County and with permission from the landowners, the MBWG would like to repair the existing structure (an old building) currently being used as a roost by bats at that location.
Stephanie Steele provided an update for the bridge committee, including soliciting new members. She noted that there is a need for a reliable contact with MDOT, she shared information on the developing brochure, and would also like to email the three draft templates to the group for further review.
Becky Rosamond updated the group on the progress of the education and outreach committee. Deb Freman has stepped down as chair, and the group is seeking a new chair. She’d like to compile a list of members willing and able to speak to groups and create another list of existing bat programs so that other in the group can use those.
Representatives from Forestry Suppliers spoke about their new harp trap that is available and left information for those interested.
Stephanie Steele provided an secretary/treasurer report. We are still waiting for a response from the IRS on the 501(c)3 status.
Chester Martin reviewed the groups accomplishments and awards for the 2012 year. A Research and Conservation Award was presented to Eric Britzke; Education and Outreach Awards were presented to Andrea Schuhmann and Shea Staten; and Becky Rosamond received the Chester O. Martin Award.
New business discussed during the meeting included state-wide needs to help support bat conservation efforts within Mississippi. Items mentioned included presence/absence surveys, statewide database for mist net captures, encouraging graduate-level bat research, looking for alternative ways to get bat research published (i.e., Bat Research New Publication), potentially gating caves to protect known roosts, providing status reports of rafinesque’s big-eared bats and southeastern myotis, and the potential for the Northern long-eared bat to be listed.