Thursday, August 15, 2013

White-Nose Syndrome

For the third year in a row the Forestry Crew has performed service with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to aid in their efforts to understand White-Nose Syndrome. This is an introduced fungal disease that has decimated bat populations in the eastern part of the United States over the last several years.
Bat with White-Nose Syndrome
 The Forestry Crew drives on a route through the Craggy Mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway recording bat calls twice each summer. Each species of bat has a specific call signature. By recording the calls wildlife biologists can know how many bats of each species are located along the route. By recording calls before White-Nose Syndrome came to the North Carolina mountains, a baseline was established. As the disease affects populations along the route recordings of these calls allow an understanding for which species are being affected, and to what extent.
The Anabat, the device used to record bat calls

Call signatures of bats. Each J-shaped line is a call.

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