The first annual meeting of the Mississippi Bat Working Group was held on January 27, 2003 at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, Mississippi. Thirty-two attendees representing at least 10 agencies and private companies participated in this meeting sponsored by the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS).
10:00 – 10:05 am Welcome – Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) – Libby Hartfield, MMNS
10:05 – 10:15 am Introduction – Meeting coordinators and participans
10:15 – 10:30 am Meeting objectives – Alison Sherman, MMNS; Chester Martin, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and Interim Chair of MBWG
10:30 – 10:45 am Status of the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network (SBDN) – Darren Miller, Weyehaeuser Co.
10:45 – 11:00 am State of the Mississippi Bat Working Group and bat studies in Mississippi – Chester Martin
11:00 – 11:15 am Development of Mississippi Bat Database – Alison Sherman
11:15 – 12:30 pm Lunch
12:30 – 12:45 pm Roost fidelity and roosting ecology for Rafinesque’s big-eared bats in Southeastern Mississippi – Austin Trousdale, University of Southern Mississippi
12:45 – 1:00 pm Assessment of Corynorhinus rafinesquii roost characteristics at St. Catherine’s Creek NWR, Adams County, Mississippi – Alison Sherman
1:00 – 1:15 pm Use of man-made structures by four species of forest dwelling bats in Claiborne County, Mississippi – Monica Wolters, ERDC
1:15 – 1:30 pm Weyerhaeuser bat research in Mississippi – Darren Miller
1:30 – 1:45 pm Survey of bats in Mississippi caves – Austin Trousdale
1:45 – 2:15 pm AnaBat demonstration – Richard Lance, ERDC
2:15 – 2:30 pm Election of 2003 – 2004 officers and assignment of ad-hoc committees
2:30 – 3:30 pm Discussion of priority issues and projects for potential funding through various sources
3:30 pm Adjourn
Alison Sherman (MMNS) and Chester Martin (USA ERDC) served as meeting coordinators. The meeting was well-attended by 32 personnel representing MMNS; Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks; US Fish and Wildlife Service; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; US Army Engineer Research and Development Center; USDA Wildlife Services; US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District; Mississippi Army National Guard; University of Southern Mississippi; Weyerhaeuser Company; Anderson Tulley Company, and International Paper Company.
Libby Hartfield (MMNS) opened the meeting with a welcoming address, and coordinators and participants were introduced. See agenda (above) for more speakers and topics discussed. The final session of the meeting included election of 2003-04 officers and a group discussion of priority bat issues and management goals for Mississippi. Chester Martin was elected Chair; Alison Sherman was elected Recording Secretary. Issues addressed included the need for bat house projects in the state, better guidance on proper bat exclusion methods, provision of recommendations for bat-friendly bridge replacement designs to state and federal land managers and the Mississippi Department of Transportation, establishment of a working group web-site, and need for a public relations program to increase awareness of bat conservation needs and research activities in the state. Several agencies expressed a need for training field personnel to conduct bat surveys. Ad-hoc committees will be formed to address many of these issues. It was agreed that an official working group meeting would be held in January or February. A spring or summer mist-netting trip is also being planned for 2003.