Uxbridge Secondary School, Durham District School Board
Bat Education with High School Students
Equipped with Echo Meter Touch iOS-powered bat detectors and a Song Meter SM4BAT FS ultrasonic bat recorder, high school geography, science teacher and outdoor educator, Jon Boxall and his team of high school citizen scientists will fan out through central Ontario and provincial parks to record bat echolocation calls. The data, collected from numerous overnight field trips will be tabulated and analyzed by the high schoolers using Wildlife Acoustics' Kaleidoscope Pro bat analysis and auto-ID software.
Jon is thrilled about embarking on this project as it provides his students with critical and practical hands-on scientific, data gathering and analysis work. Jon's educational mission is to foster an understanding among his team of the importance of biodiversity and cultivate an appreciation among his new researchers of the pressures many bat species are facing. Just as important is that Jon, the Durham District School Board and the Uxbridge Secondary School Outers Club are helping to develop the next generation of bat biologists and conservators.
To showcase the critical value of citizen science work, students will submit their findings to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Bat Researchers as well as the Natural Heritage Information staff. As this data is vital to expansion of a national data base, the student team will share the compiled data with the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat).
Effects of captive rearing on vocal development of the Aga (Corvus kubaryi)
Aga (Corvus kubaryi), the critically endangered forest crow, is endemic to Guam and Rota of the Mariana Islands. Less than 200 individuals remain.
This bright and highly social crow relies heavily on the interaction of adult Agas to learn proper vocalizations and social behaviors.
Andria and her team will set about discretely deploying Song Meter SM3s and SM4s to capture the wild Aga's calls. Using Wildlife Acoustics' Kaleidoscope Pro with acoustic Cluster Analysis, Andria will characterize and archive the calls and their behavioral contexts of nesting adult Aga and their young. She will then compare these to the vocalizations that young captive-reared Aga develop.
If differences between vocalizations of young wild-reared and captive-reared Aga are found, the curated calls may then be played back to captive-reared Aga eggs and hatchlings so that they may develop the appropriate use of vocalizations in their many contexts during their formative years.
Andria has been part of the field team working to manage and preserve this species since 2012. Ms. Kroner noted the study is poised to immediately provide usable findings in the recovery program, supporting the planned reintroductions to rescue this endangered species.
Nantucket Conservation Foundation
Documentation of breeding and winter habitat use by Northern long-eared bats on Nantucket Island, MA
White Nose Syndrome (WNS) has devastated Northern long-eared bat populations across the northeast. Prior to 2015, this species was not known to be present on the tiny island of Nantucket. If this bat is both breeding and hibernating on the island, the Cape and Islands region could be providing a refuge from the impact of White Nose Syndrome for this federally listed species.
Danielle and her team will be deploying a Song Meter SM4BAT FS recorder to document the extent of the population of the long-eared bat on the island, locate potential hibernacula, and quantify and qualify habitat use during the breeding season.
The data gathered will be used to ensure that land management efforts by conservation organizations are compatible with providing quality habitat for both breeding and hibernating northern long-eared bats.
Florida Atlantic University
Testing the function of female song in the Bachman's sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis)
Florida Atlantic University's Dr. Rindy Anderson is an expert on the Bachman's sparrow. Our grant recipient believesthat bird song research is ideal for studying the function, evolution, and mechanisms of behavior. In temperate zones, male songbirds are the songsters, and so the songs and singing behaviors of males have been carefully studied for decades. Females also sing in some temperate species, and in many tropical species, but there is less research aimed at understanding why female songbirds sing, and how the songs of males and females differ in acoustic structure and behavioral function. In recent years, research on female song is gaining momentum and has become a hot topic in the avian world.
Dr. Anderson and her team will use acoustic recordings, song analysis, and song playback methods to study the songs of female Bachman's sparrows. Vital recordings of female song will be captured with the Song Meter SM4 acoustic recorder. These recordings, and the data they generate, will be used to compare the acoustic structure of female songs to male songs, and to test hypotheses about the adaptive value of female song in this species. Dr. Anderson hopes that the findings will be integral to the conservation efforts of this elusive and threatened species.
Toronto and Region Conservation Community Engagement Team
Bats In Your Backyard
Toronto and Region Conservation's (TRCAs) Education and Community Engagement Team will lead the Bats In Your Backyardeducation program during the summer and fall of 2017. This Team and nearly 100 budding citizen scientists will collect quantitative and qualitative bat data at four Ontario region field conservation centres (Albion Hills Field Centre, Claremont Field Centre, Kortright Centre for Conservation and Lake St. George Field Centre) as well as in public spaces around the region. The volunteers will learn about bat ecology, the role of bats within their watersheds, and threats impacting local species of bats. They will also be involved in enhancing bat habitat by building roost structures, enhancing gardens, and initiating Public Service Announcement campaigns through social media.
TRCA's Education and Community Engagement Team are equipped with iPad-powered Echo Meter Touch bat detector systems. The volunteers will capture bat echolocation calls on the devices and share bat absence/presence data with TRCA's Terrestrial Inventories and Monitoring Team as well as other interested groups like the Toronto Zoo. Data captured by this project will provide baseline species presence data for future monitoring projects for the region.