On February 4, 2016, the Mississippi Bat Working Group met at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, MS for their annual membership and business meeting. Research and monitoring updates were presented by Cody Jordan and Dr. Rich Buccholz (University of Mississippi), Scott Veum (Mississippi State University), Kathy Shelton (Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks), Alison McCartney (Deep South Eco Group), Chester Martin, Becky Rosamond (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Kris Godwin (USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services), Shea Staten (US Army Corps of Engineers), and James Austin (US Fish and Wildlife Service).
Promoting bat research, conservation, and education
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).
The MBWG held its 13th annual meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science on January 12, 2015. The meeting included research updates, outreach and education opportunities, reports from officers, and presentation of awards to active members.
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 met on January 16, 2014 for the 12th Annual Meeting. There was a full agenda including research updates, committee report outs, and a discussion of potential outreach opportunities within the upcoming year.
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 met on January 23, 2013 for the 11th Annual Meeting. Twenty-six people attended the event, representing several research and educational institutions, state and federal agencies, private companies, non-profit organizations, and the general public. There was a full agenda including research updates, committee report outs, and an in-depth discussion of state-level conservation needs that the MBWG can move forward.
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 10th Annual Meeting of the MBWG was held at the Pine Ridge Lodge at Lake Tiak-O’Khata in Louisville, MS on February 23, 2012. Twenty-four members attended this meeting, which was held in conjunction with the 17th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network. In addition to research presentation and updates from committees and partners, the meeting featured a recap of the first 10 years of the MBWG along with presentation of several awards recognizing a range of categories.
A group of Webelos II boy scouts and their families joined the Mississippi Bat Working Group in north Mississippi to learn about bats with a seminar, hands-on activities and a mist netting demonstration. The scouts worked towards their wildlife belt or pin and the World Conservation Award. Read more here.
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 its 9th Annual Meeting at the College of Forest Resources, Mississippi State University on January 19, 2011. Twenty-seven attendees represented a range of state and federal agencies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and private companies. The meeting focused on committee planning, and featured presentations on MBWG activities and bat conservation and research.
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 met for its eighth annual meeting on April 13, 2010 at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. This meeting featured revisions of the charter, election of new officers and board members, planning for upcoming events, and updates on current issues facing bat conservation.
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.
On January 29, 2009, the Mississippi Bat Working Group held its seventh annual meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, MS. There were 35 attendees representing eight state and federal agencies along with several non-profit organizations, private companies, and educational institutions.
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.
The Mississippi Bat Working Group held its sixth annual meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, MS on February 7, 2008. Twenty-nine people representing two states, 6 state and federal agencies, 2 private companies, and 3 educational institutions participated in the meeting, which featured the addition of a poster session this year.
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.
On January 18, 2007, the Mississippi Bat Working Group held its fifth annual meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, MS. Attendance totaled 42 people from four southeastern states, the largest and most geographically diverse participation since the group originated! At least 16 agencies, organizations, and companies participated, as well as interested members of the general public.
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 January 26, 2006, the Mississippi Bat Working Group held its 4th Annual Meeting at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, MS. The meeting was well-attended by 37 personnel representing 16 state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, private companies, and educational institutions.
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 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.
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.
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.
The first annual meeting of the Mississippi Bat Working Group was held on January 27, 2003 at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, Mississippi. Thirty-two attendees representing at least 10 agencies and private companies participated in this meeting sponsored by the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS). (more…)