2nd Annual Meeting

The MBWG held its second annual meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) in Jackson, MS on January 28, 2004. Chester Martin (ERDC) and Alison Sherman (MMNS) presided over the meeting, which consisted of ten presentations followed by a business meeting.The meeting was well-attended by 40 participants representing 12 diverse state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies.


9:30 – 10:00 am        Registration with coffee and donuts

10:00 – 10:05 am      Welcome – Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) – Charles Knight, MMNS

10:05 – 10:15 am      Introduction – Meeting coordinators and participants

10:15 – 10:25 am      Meeting objectives – Alison Sherman, MMNS; Chester Martin, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERCD) and Chair of Mississippi Bat Working Group (MBWG)

10:25 – 10:30 am      Mississippi Outdoors footage of bat research activities in Mississippi

10:30 – 10:45 am      MBWG activities for 2003 – Chester Martin

10:45 – 11:00 am      Arkansas Bat Blitz 2003 – Alison Sherman

11:00 – 11:15 am      USDA Wildlife Services update on managing and educating the public regarding bat conflicts – Kris Godwin, USDA Wildlife Services

11:15 – 11:30 am      Bats and public health – Dr. Brigid Elchos, State Health Department

11:30 – 1:00 pm        Lunch

1:00 – 1:15 pm          Corynorhinus rafinesquii and Myotis austroriparius roost characteristics in Southwestern Mississippi – Alison Sherman

1:15 – 1:45 pm          ThermaL infrared videography techniques for the study of free flying bats – Bruce Sabol, ERDC

1:45 – 2:00 pm          Tree-roosts of Rafinesque’s big-eared bat, Corynorhinus rafinesquii, in Southern Mississippi – Austin Trousdale, University of Southern Mississippi

2:00 – 2:15 pm          Orientation of bats using bridges and other man-made structures in west-central Mississippi – Monica Wolters, ERDC

2:15 – 2:30 pm          Bat house projects in Mississippi – Alison Sherman

2:30 – 2:45 pm          Ad-hoc committees

2:45 – 3:30 pm          Discussion of priority issues and projects for potential funding through various sources

3:30 pm                     Adjourn

Ad-hoc Committees

Bat House Committee: Track all bat house activities for the state

Chair: Alison Sherman,  Members: Terri Jacobson

Exclusion: Track bat exclusion activities for the state

Chair: Kris Godwin,  Members: Richard Rummell

Public Relations: Track presentations, papers, etc. for all members with periodic summaries of activities of members

Chair: Chester Martin,  Members: Alison Sherman, Darren Miller

Bat Banding: Track all banding activities for the state, create bat banding database (?)

Chair: Austin Trousdale,  Members: Alison Sherman

Mist Net Trip: Coordination of a mist-net trip for group members

Chair: Darren Miller,  Members: Alison Sherman

Bridge Replacement: Track bridge replacement activities and provide recommendations for bat-friendly bridge designs

Chair: Dave Beckett,  Members: Monica Wolters

Bat Education: Develop a bat education and awareness program

Chair: (vacant),  Members: Ruth Pullen, Monica Wolters, Terri Jacobson, Ed Moody

Habitat Management: Address impacts of forest management and human encroachment on bat activity and/or abundance

Co-chairs: Chester Martin and Darren Miller

Meeting Minutes

The MBWG held its second annual meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) in Jackson, MS on January 28, 2004. Chester Martin (ERDC) and Alison Sherman (MMNS) presided over the meeting, which consisted of ten presentations followed by a business meeting. Presentations were made on a variety of topics including public education on bat/human conflicts, public health issues, natural and artificial roost characteristics of Rafinesque’s big-eared bats and southeastern myotis, thermal infrared videography techniques, and the Mississippi bat house projects. Eight ad-hoc committees were established: public relations, bat houses, bat banding, bat exclusion, mist-net excursions, bridge replacement, bat education programs, and habitat management.

The meeting was well-attended by 40 participants representing Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, MMNS, Mississippi State Department of Health, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDA Wildlife Services, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Park Service, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Southern Alabama, and Weyerhaeuser Company.  Participants were also able to experience the “Masters of the Night” exhibit created by Clear Channel Entertainment, Inc. and endorsed by Merlin Tuttle of Bat Conservation International. The exhibit opened at the MMNS on January 23 and will continue through early May.

2003 was a good year for the working group, which now has 78 members. MBWG members completed 10 articles and professional papers, six of which were prepared as peer-reviewed manuscripts for scientific journals (improving our bat publication record was established as a primary goal at the 2002 working group meeting). Twenty-on oral and poster presentations were made at four conferences and workshops during the year. Seven additional presentations were made to school classes, Scout organizations, and community groups. Special events included participation in the Arkansas Bat Blitz and planning for the “Master of the Night” exhibit at the MMNS. MBWG representatives were interviewed by five newspapers and magazines and three television stations. “Mississippi Outdoors” footage of bat research will air this summer on public television.

Other 2003 activities included the MMNS bat house project, mist-net surveys on the Delta National Forest, and continued work with the Mississippi Department of Health by Richard Rummel (MMNS). Chester Martin chaired the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association Bat Working Group and serves as the Department of Defense representative on the North American Bat Conservation Partnership (NABCP) executive committee. Darren Miller serves as the industry representative for the NABCP executive committee.


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