Bat Survey Needs Volunteers in Select Counties

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Wildlife Diversity News masthead

Acoustic Monitoring Survey for Iowa's Nine Bat Species

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University are looking for volunteers interested in performing night time surveys for bats in Jackson, Franklin and Butler counties.

Hoary Bat on Tree

The survey monitors bat occurrence in key areas of the state. It began in response to declining bat populations from White Nose Syndrome, among other challenges.
This survey uses acoustic recording equipment mounted on top of a car to detect bats along specific routes. Data has been collected on some of these standardized survey routes for the last eight years.  

Some new routes are being added as well as some stationary sites where equipment is left out for several nights.  Volunteers will be responsible for both conducting the driving survey and placing and retrieving stationary equipment.

Volunteers will need a vehicle and a partner to run the drive survey and be available for at least two nights during a specified two week period in early July. The driving survey begins 45 minutes after sunset and takes roughly 2.5 hours. Please note that you will need to be in a car with a survey partner for at least 5 hours across both surveys so in light of COVID 19, please be sure that both you and your partner are comfortable with this and the risk it may involve.

Stationary equipment should be put out prior to the first drive survey and left out until the second drive survey has been completed (a minimum of 4 nights). 

The total time commitment, including virtual training, the two surveys, placing and retrieving stationary equipment and picking up and dropping off equipment, is roughly 12 hours primarily in the first two weeks of July.

The three routes that need adoption are located as follows:

  • Western Jackson County
  • Southwestern Franklin County on Hardin County Line
  • Eastern Franklin County near Geneva into Western Butler County.

How to Get Involved!

More details can be found at the Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Website as well as a volunteer interest form that can be filled in electronically or a pdf is available for download on the website. 

Button Link to Bat Survey Webpage