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Wildlife Acoustics in the classroom: More on the MARA project

Wildlife Acoustics in the classroom: More on the MARA project

“It’s quite difficult to protect a species if you are unaware of where it is located!” That’s the simplest explanation that Dr. Heather Cunningham, state coordinator of The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA), can give as to why her massive citizen science project is so important.

The MARA project aims to document the current distribution of all amphibian and reptile species in Maryland, and in Calvert County alone, they’ve enlisted 1300 seventh graders to help out!

Not only does this help the state get a better picture of their population density, but it also educates students on the importance of these creatures.

White Nose film examines progress made against the deadly fungus

White Nose film examines progress made against the deadly fungus

Four years ago, Ravenswood Media released a highly informative video called The Battle for Bats: White Nose Syndrome, explaining how the deadly fungal disease was decimating bat populations at an unprecedented rate. At that time it was reported that the fungus had killed over 400,000 bats. Today that number is over 5.7 million, and it is being called one of the most devastating afflictions to hit American wildlife.

The sequel film, subtitled Surviving White Nose Syndrome, remains positive. Some bats are surviving multiple years of exposure to the fungus and looking fairly healthy. In order to study the survivors, bats are banded with year-specific bands to track their health over consecutive hibernation periods. Researchers hope they can glean some answers from the bats that are defying the odds multiple times.

Because the disease has been around for several years now, protocols have been implemented at caves sites around the U.S. At Mammoth Cave in for example, the 400,000 visitors that pass through must step through bio-security mats, which serves the dual purpose of keeping them from bringing pathogens in as well as from taking them home.

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation Orginization for Bat Conservation Bat Conservation International Bat Conservation Trust Wildlife Habitat Counsil