The Mississippi Bat Working Group had a great turnout for our annual meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) on March 28. The agenda included research updates from graduate students, the US Army Corp of Engineers, and the MS Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks. We also heard updates on the draft Mississippi bat conservation plan and state-wide monitoring efforts including the annual culvert blitz, cave and bridge surveys, and the annual mist net event. Tami Hudson of Possum Hollow Wildlife Rescue brought live bats, including the Northern yellow bat recovered from Ingall’s ship yard last fall. She provided tips on how to handle reports of injured or stressed bats.
The group recognized Jackie Henne-Kerr from the MMNS for her efforts to promote knowledge and appreciation for bats. James Austin of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Kathy Shelton of the MMNS received the Research/Conservation Award for their coordination of the first cave gating for bat conservation in the state. Other accomplishments of the group were highlighted in the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network’s Nightwing News, including bat house replacements and several outreach and educational events throughout the state.