Members of the group gathered at DeSoto National Forest for an Earth Day Bioblitz held on April 26-29. Participants shared their knowledge of various taxa and documented over 250 species during the event. The MS Bat Working Group mist netted on April 26 and 27, documenting three bat species and a Chuck-Will’s-widow. While Seminole bats were the most commonly encountered species, a big brown bat and an eastern red bat were also caught and released. For more information on the event, check out their project on iNaturalist.(more…)
Mist Net Events
The Mississippi Bat Working Group gathered at Trace State Park for the 15th Annual Mist Net Event. Twenty-three bat enthusiasts netted two nights, covering 5 sites. Despite unseasonal rainfall and localized flooding throughout the event, the group provided the first records for evening bats (Nycticeius humeralis) and eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis) in Pontotoc County.
The MBWG would like to thank our event sponsors, Chester Martin and Wildlife Abatement (Rob McKay) for their support, along with all of the volunteers who scouted netting locations, served as team leaders, and traveled from across the southeast (and from Hawaii!) to help collect data. We hope to see you all next year!
The MBWG’s 14th Annual Mist Net Event was held in Amite and Pike counties in south Mississippi. Twenty participants representing Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana gathered at Percy Quin State Park in McComb, Mississippi for two nights of mist netting. Although the first night was slow, the group netted eight sites and collected data on twenty-one bats. Species captured included evening bats, eastern red bats, and big brown bats. Thanks to all those who made this event possible, including our event sponsors, the Smith Family of Natchez and Chester Martin of Vicksburg.
The Mississippi Bat Working Group met in Grenada, MS for two nights of mist netting on September 20-21, 2016. Twenty three biologists, teachers, and other bat enthusiasts netted at Malmaison Wildlife Management Area and Tallahatchie National Wildlife Refuge in Tallahatchie County, covering four sites each night. A total of 32 bats representing three species were netted over the course of the event. We’d like to thank all of the people who came out to net and make our 13th mist net event a successful one! (more…)
The Southeastern Bat Diversity Network’s “Multi-State Bat Blitz” will be held from August 24-31, 2016. The Blitz is a five-day window in the early fall where people throughout the Southeastern United States mist net in as many locations in each state as possible. The Bat Blitz is a great opportunity to not only collect more information on Mississippi’s bats, it is also a great outreach opportunity where members can invite the general public to learn more about bats and their conservation. Read more
The Mississippi Bat Working Group converged on Delta National Forest on October 19-20, 2015 for two nights of mist netting in the Mississippi Delta. A total of eight sites were netted, covering both the north and south end of the forest. Habitats netted included open water (drying ponds), drainages, and areas adjacent to oxbow lakes. Fifty-five bats representing six species were captured. Species included evening bat (40), southeastern bat (4), eastern red bat (3), big brown bat (2), Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (1), and eastern pipistrelle (tricolored bat; 1). (Photo: Becky Rosamond).
J.P. Coleman State Park in Tishomingo County was the setting for the MBWG’s 11th Annual Mist Net Event. Twenty people participated in two nights of mist netting on and adjacent to the park on July 29-30, 2014. A total of 34 bats were captured, including eastern red bat (9), southeastern myotis (5), eastern pipistrelle (tricolored bat; 3), and evening bat (1). During the day, participants hiked at Tishomingo State Park, conducted bridge checks for bats, and networked with wildlife professionals from around the state. (Photo: Amber Floyd)
The MBWG held its 10th Annual Mist Net Event at the Choctaw Reservation, and participants included conservation officers from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The event included nightly mist netting, a tour of the heritage museum, and a demonstration of traditional Choctaw cooking and stick ball. In all, the group caught a total of 31 bats and a southern leopard frog. Species captured included Seminole bat (1), eastern red bat (15), evening bat (12), and southeastern myotis (3). Nearly half of the bats (14) were captured in a triple high net stretched across a dry gravel road surrounded by bottomland hardwood forest. (Photo: Amber Floyd)
See photos from the event here.
The MBWG held their 9th Annual Mist Net Event from July 24-26, 2012 at the Chickasawhay Ranger District of the DeSoto National Forest in Jones County. The event featured a guided tour of the Triple H and Pitts caves, led by Dr. David Beckett of the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition to southeastern myotis, the group observed two-lined, three-line, and slimy salamanders, pickerel frogs, and several crayfish. Following protocol, no equipment was taken into either cave that had been used in any white-nose positive state.
The group caught a total of 15 bats, a flying squirrel and a bronze frog! Species captured included Seminole bat (8), eastern red bat (2), an unknown Lasiurus species (escaped), evening bat (3), and eastern pipistrelle (tricolored bat; 1). The group followed the national protocol for handling bats to avoid spreading white-nose syndrome.
The MBWG held it’s 8th Annual Mist Net Event on July 11-13, 2011 at Carver Point on Grenada Lake (Grenada County). The event featured a bat identification workshop presented by Alsion McCartney. A total of 37 people participated in the event, sampling eight sites. Thirty five bats representing three species were captured during the two nights of netting. Captures included eastern red bat (20), evening bat (8), and tri-colored bat (7). Additionally, 23 people participated in bridge survyes, covering 10 routes. Ninety bridges were surveyed for bats, with no sightings reported.
The MBWG held it’s 7th Annual Mist Net Event at Sardis Lake from August 9-11, 2010. Thirty-six participants netted a total of six sites within the area managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers around Sardis Lake. A total of ten bats were captured, representing three species. Day field trips included a trip to view a Rafinesque’s big-eared bat roost as well as a tour of the Enid Lake Visitor Center and Fish Hatchery.
The MBWG traveled to the Gulf Coast for their 6th Annual Mist Net Event. Sites were located within the Pascagoula River Basin in Harrison and George counties and the meeting was hosted out of the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs. Two nights of netting were completed from July 29-31, 2009 and activities included a boat tour of the Pascagoula River.
The MBWG’s 5th Annual Mist Net Event was held at the Homochitto National Forest in Adams County on July 28-30, 2008. Twenty six member attended the two nights of mist netting. Captures included 24 individuals representing five species, including eastern red bat (8), evening bat (8), Seminole bat (6), southeastern myotis (1), and big brown bat (1). Six sites were netted within the National Forest at Sandy Creek Wildlife Management Area.
A day field trip to St. Catherine’s Creek National Wildlife Refuge was led by Alison McCartney. Refuge manager Bob Strader gave the group an overview of the refuge and Alison presented on her masters thesis work which was conducted on the refuge from 2002-2004. Participants viewed four bat houses, one of which contained 70 Rafinesque’s big-eared bats and is the largest known colony for this species in Mississippi. Other species observed using the roosts included two big brown bats and a single southeastern myotis. Next, participants traveled to Laurel Plantation (privately owned) to view a cister known to house as many as 5,400 southeastern myotis.
Twenty nine members from four southeastern states gathered for the 4th Annual MBWG Mist Net Event on June 12-14, 2007. This year’s event was held at Holmes County State Park, and mist netting sites were located in Holmes, Attala, and Leake counties. The US Fish and Wildlife Service sponsored the event, which featured a Bat 101 workshop. The workshop included 6 presentations regarding basic bat biology and ecology. Mist netting was conducted at ten sites: four sites at Hillside National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), one site at Morgan’s Brake NWR, and five sites along the Natchez Trace Parkway. A total of 110 bats representing six species were captured including eastern red bat (19), evening bat (44), eastern pipistrelle (tricolored bat; 11), big brown bat (10), southeastern myotis (25), and Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (1). The Rafinesque’s big-eared bat was especially exciting, as this is a species of special concern in Mississippi and marks the first record of this species in Attala County.
Day field trips included an excursion to Delta National Forest where MBWG member Lann Wilf (Mississippi Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks) discussed his masters thesis research on the bats on the National Forest. Three roosts were visited, one of which was occupied by more than 60 southeastern myotis.
JP Coleman State Park in Tishomingo County was the setting for the Third Annual MBWG Mist Net Event. From June 20-22, 2006, 32 members representing 14 organizations and three southeastern states met to mist net and learn about this unique area in the far northeast corner of Mississippi. The event opened with presentations from Weyerhaeuser, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Mississippi State University. Event sponsors included Weyerhaeuser, University of Mississippi, The Nature Conservancy, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, and Bowhead Informational Technology Services.
Mist net surveys were conducted on two consecutive nights resulting in 28 bat captures representative of four species. Ten sites were surveyed, with two located within state parks, three within wildlife management areas, and one along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Six sites yielded captures, including eastern red bat (19), evening bat (1), eastern pipistrelle (tricolored bat; 7), and hoary bat (1). This was the first record of the hoary bat within Tishomingo county and one of only a handful of records for this species within that state. The hoary bat is listed by the state as a species of special concern.
Daytime field trips included excursions to two local caves and one abandoned chalk mine. Jarrod Fogarty of Mississippi State University gave a talk on the biology and ecology of rare salamanders found in the area and participants found slimy and cave salamanders.
Check out pictures from the event here.
On June 20-22, 2005, the MBWG’s second annual mist net event was held at Bienville naitonal Forest in Scott County. Members representing 13 organizations and agencies and three states attended. Event sponsors included Roosevelt State Park, Weyerhaeuser, Scott County Extension Service, Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the Scott County Board of Supervisors. Eight sites were netted over the course of two nights, collectively resulting in the capture of 27 individuals representing four species. The event featured presentations from staff from the US Forest Service, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the University of Georgia, and the University of Louisiana.
The MBWG held its first mist net event on July 20-22, 2004. Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge provided netting locations in Noxubee County and event sponsors included the refuge, Weyerhaeuser, and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Daytime field trips included viewing several evening bats roosting in the Refuge’s fire tower along with traveling to see a maternity colony of Rafinesque’s big-eared bats off of the Refuge. The local news station featured portions of the mist net event on their broadcast.