Bat Banding Clearinghouse

Science Center Objects

The need to mark bats individually in order to assess life history parameters and movements is especially important as threats from white-nose syndrome (WNS) and wind energy development continue to negatively affect bats.

Cryan taking a female hoary bat out of a net. This bat was intercepted during its spring migration through New Mexico.
USGS Research Biologist Paul Cryan taking a female hoary bat out of a net. This bat was intercepted during its spring migration through New Mexico. Photo by Leslie Cryan.

Responses to these threats at the population level can only be discerned through measurements made possible through marking. Although disparate bat banding efforts are ongoing, no coherent strategy, official clearinghouse or coordination program exists in North America, despite the recognized need. A major recommendation made in 2008 in “Summary and Analysis of the U.S. Government Bat Banding Program” was to develop a national clearinghouse for banded bats in order to optimize information obtained from marked bats.

The U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region are developing a clearinghouse for banded bats beginning with the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). To accomplish this task, FORT will send each Indiana bat permittee (intending to capture individuals) bat bands and pliers for band application. FORT is also currently developing a Bat Population Data (BPD) Project, which will eventually have a “Banding Application.” In this Web-based application, individual banders will be able to log on securely to the database and enter their banding information.

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