1st Annual Bridge Blitz

Rafinesque’s big eared bats roosting under a bridge in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Bat Working Group’s First Annual Bridge Blitz was held from July 12-18, 2021. Seventeen members participated, covering nine survey routes throughout the state. Four of the 71 bridges surveyed were occupied (5.6% occupancy rate). These bridges were in the Claiborne County area and contained 120 southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius), 15 big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), and one Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii). The bridge with the largest colony of southeastern myotis was surveyed three weeks later and found to have increased to 220 Myotis. Thank you to everyone that participated in this event! For more information, please contact Alison McCartney at alison_mccartney@fws.gov.

The occupancy rate observed during this Blitz is slightly less than bridge occupancy rates found from surveys in neighboring states, which yielded an average of twelve to fourteen percent.

Southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius)120
Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus)15
Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii)1

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