Bat Blitz Is Coming
For four days in early August
County will be the host for a convergence of the leading minds in the study of
bats. This year the Southeastern Bat
Diversity Network has chosen the
as its focus area for its annual Bat Blitz.
In previous years the Blitz has been held on other national forest lands
throughout the southeast. Last
yearís Blitz was held in
and included nearly forty scientists and students.
Plans for this yearís Blitz are still being compiled.
However, one thing is for sure. Come
will see a dramatic rise in the number of people scavenging the forest late at
night in search of bats. I donít
have the exact numbers available but Iím guessing the current list of people
actively seeking bats is somewhere at or below zero.
Bats are one of the truly unique species of animals.
Even though they fly they are still considered mammals.
They have very poor eyesight and thus rely on a fascinating radar system
to track down and capture their prey, which consists mostly of insects.
As you know, they are almost completely nocturnal choosing to spend the
daylight hours resting in places like caves, dead trees, and under bridges.
And contrary to popular lore, bats are not prone to laying eggs in
Because of these oddities bats are one of the greatly understudied
species in the world. In this part
, in particular, there is almost no background data to provide these scientists
with an idea of what to expect. They
may be able to capture and study up to twelve different species of bats during
the Blitz. The data that is recorded
will become valuable in setting a baseline for any future studies that may
result. So get ready
, a Bat Blitz is heading your way.