HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking for volunteers to help monitor its bat populations.
DNR says the Summer Bat Roost Monitoring Project uses volunteers to collect information on the distribution, occupancy and abundance of bat colonies throughout Indiana. DNR officials say participants must have bats roosting on their property or permission to enter property where a roost occurs. DNR says possible roost sites include trees, bat houses, barns, attics, outbuildings and other structures.
Indiana DNR says on each night of surveying, volunteers count the bats that exit the roost and record weather information. Each survey takes about an hour and is conducted on eight to 12 nights from mid-May to mid-July.
Officials say Indiana’s Wildlife Diversity biologists have monitored winter populations of bats in caves and mines since the mid-1980s, but less is known about the status of bats the remainder of the year. DNR says this provides an opportunity to study bats in their summer range while allowing the public to contribute to scientific investigations.
Officials say two species that tend to roost in structures in Indiana are the big brown bat and little brown bat. DNR says both species were once common in the state, but white-nose syndrome has drastically reduced the population of little brown bats.
People can learn more about this project by either emailing helpbats@dnr.IN.gov or calling the Bloomington Fish & Wildlife office at (812) 334-1137. People can find a way to sign up for the project on this page.