The MBWG held its 3rd annual meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, MS on February 10, 2005. Twenty-eight people representing 15 state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations (including Bat Conservation International), and private companies participated in the meeting. The MBWG is currently the largest and most active bat working group in the Southeast, thanks in large part to the dedication of its founding member, Chester Martin. Chester was presented with the first ever Chester O. Martin Award, which will be presented by the MBWG to those members who display outstanding contributions to the MBWG and bat conservation in Mississippi.
9:30 – 10:00 am Registration. Coffee and donuts.
10:00 – 10:05 am Welcome – Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) – Charles Knight, MMNS
10:05 – 10:10 am Introduction – Meeting coordinators and participants
10:10 – 10:15 am Meeting objectives – Alison Sherman, MMNS and Chester Martin, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and Chair of MBWG
10:15 – 10:45 am MBWG activities for 2004 – Chester Martin
10:45 – 10:55 am Ad-Hoc committee progress reports – Ad-Hoc committee chairs
10:55 – 11:05 am MBWG summer mist net event 2004 – Alison Sherman
11:05 – 11:15 am Video – Weyerhaeuser Media presentation featuring Adam West
11:15 – 11:30 am New business
11:30 – 1:00 pm Sponsored by Weyerhaeuser Co.
1:00 – 1:15 pm Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy – Elizabeth Barber, Barber and Mann, Inc. (for MMNS)
1:15 – 1:30 pm Roost use by bats on an intensively managed pine landscape – Darren Miller, Weyerhaeuser Co.
1:30 – 1:45 pm Long-term fidelity of Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) to bridge roosts in Southern Mississippi – Austin Trousdale and David C. Beckett, University of Southern Mississippi
1:45 – 2:00 pm Myotis austroriparius use of cisterns in southwestern Mississippi – Alison Sherman, MMNS and Chester Martin and Bruce Sabol, ERDC
2:00 – 3:00 pm TBA
3:00 – 3:30 pm Meeting summary and discussion of priority issues
3:30 pm Adjourn
The Third Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Bat Working Group (MBWG) was held at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS), Jackson, MS on February 10, 2005. The meeting was sponsored by the MMNS. Chester martin, Environmental Laboratory, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and Alison Sherman, MMNS, served as meeting coordinators. The meeting was well-attended by 28 personnel representing MMNS, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USA ERDC, Bat Conservation International, University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State University, University of Georgia-Athens, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Oikos Enterprises LLC, Barber and mann, Weyerhaeuser Company, and International Paper Company.
Charles Knight (MMNS) opened the meeting with a welcoming address and coordinators and participants were introduced. The morning session consisted of a business meeting (see above agenda for topics). New business topics included a suggestion by Chester Martin to create a MBWG board consisting of six members. This board would help direct activities of the MBWG and facilitate more involvement by members. Chester also suggested the creation of a new ad-hoc committee that would help organize the annual meetings. Dave Richardson, US Fish and Wildlife Service, suggested that the MBWG adopt an abandoned house in Pheba, MS which contains the largest known maternal colony of Rafinesque’s big-eared bats in the state. Involvement with this house by the MBWG would include periodic monitoring to record bat occupancy and aiding in the preservation of the house’s stability. These issues will be further discussed in upcoming months. Also discussed was the issue of wind power turbines that are being installed in New Mexico, Tennessee, West Virginia, and New York and the problems that they present for bats. The business meeting concluded with a news clip of Darren Miller, Weyerhaeuser Company, and Alison Sherman conducting bat work during the Arkansas Bat Blitz, 2003.
The afternoon session included presentations of on-going research in Mississippi (listed in the above agenda), as well as the following presentations: “Species composition and habitat use by bat populations in Delta National Forest”, Lann Wilf, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks; “Day roost sites of evening bats, eastern pipistrelles, and hoary bats in an intensively managed pine landscape in Mississippi”, Darren Miller and Adam Miles, Weyerhaeuser Co.; Rafinesque’s big-eared bat: conservation of the species, what have we learned”, David Richardson, US Fish and Wildlife Service.
This year a Chester O. Martin Award was created to be given out to an individual who has displayed outstanding contributions to the MBWG and bat conservation in Mississippi. The award was presented to Chester Martin for his decades of work towards bat conservation and for all of his efforts in creating the MBWG. The MBWG is the larges and most active state working group in the Southeast, which is due primarily to Chester’s dedication and motivation in creating and leading the group. Darren Miller presented the award and Weyerhaeuser provided a banquet in Chester’s honor.
Locations are currently being scouted for the Second Annual Mist Net Event being held this summer. The MBWG is currently up to 96 members in the working group, with 38 members involved in ad-hoc committees.