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.
Mist Net Events
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.