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.
Promoting bat research, conservation, and education
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.