Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge
The SM3BAT and Echo Meter Touch have been tested, and the search has begun for new roosts on the refuge. Leah Miller, a volunteer of the Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge volunteer, has gathered initial data on bat utilization of two refuge areas using an SM3BAT recorder. Known roost emergence counts were performed using the SM3BAT and Echo Meter Touch. Data analysis will begin shortly, following installation of Kaleidoscope Pro software. The software will be uploaded to a Toughbook which will be accessible to both Refuge staff and to volunteers.
Dr. Liz Braun de Torrez continues to use the SM3BAT in a study to assess the affects of prescribed burns on the Florida bonneted bat, Eumops floridanus.
The main cavity hole to the bonneted bat roost discovered on the refuge last July can be seen in a reflection of an EM Touch screen used by Mark Danaher, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist for the Florida Panther Wildlife Refuge, while he prepares for an emergence count.
Florida Panther Refuge staff and volunteers are learning to use Kaleidoscope in order to survey for Florida bonneted bats as well as to ID other species on the Refuge. The recordings are generated from the SM3BAT and Echo Meter Touch. The Echo Meter Touch is being used to search for new roosts and to collect calls during emergences from the Refuge's known roost. Dr. Braun de Torrez is using the SM3BAT in her study to examine the effects of prescribed burns on the Florida bonneted bat. In this regard, eighteen locations in both pines and prairies on the Refuge have been monitored four times each this year.
Attempts to conduct emergence counts this quarter confirmed that in June, Florida bonneted bats are no longer living in the roost discovered on the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge last year. In July, the SM3BAT was deployed at the roost to monitor whether or not bats return to the roost. Using Kaleidoscope software, Refuge staff can see that bonneted bats are foraging in the area, but so far none have returned to inhabit the roost tree.
In other news, Refuge volunteers are learning Kaleidoscope software, and our Echo Meter Touch is being used along with other SM3BAT meters to search for new roosts. Plans are to use an SM3BAT to monitor anurans at the Refuge in 2017.
Additionally, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Friends group are planning a bat education night for our members and the public. The purpose of the event will be to educate about the Florida bonneted bat, its habitat on the Refuge, and the efforts -using Wildlife Acoustic equipment- to study the species.