PubTalk 09/2019 — Bats in the West

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Title: Bats in the West: Discoveries, Questions, and Future Research
By Gabriel A. Reyes, USGS Biologist

  • Learn about bat ecology, diversity, and the role they play in our ecosystem.
  • See how scientists are using a variety of methods including capture, acoustic monitoring, and tracking, to learn more about local bat species.
  • Find out how this information helps land managers address conservation challenges including habitat loss, emerging diseases such as white-nose syndrome, and other threats bat population face.


Date Taken:

Length: 01:15:12

Location Taken: Menlo Park, CA, US

Video Credits

Amelia Redhil,


Stand by for realtime captioning. 
>> Good evening everyone. Will come to the USGS for this public lecture. I made geologic map editor. Thank you for being here. Before we get into the introduction, quick reminder, October lecture will be here on October 10. It's very early. To remind yourself and it looks like you have, pick up a flyer in the back. That will be the anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake and feature different speakers. Today's lecture is on bats in the West , discoveries, questions and to research. Dave is a biologist with the Western research center. For those who are not familiar with, but is the center of the Central Valley California. Dave started here in 2016 after completing his Masters at Humboldt State University reset of the social behavior of bats  which are solitary and auditory. He also worked for several years in consulting primarily working on the effects of energy effects on wildlife. He is currently focusing on the ecology Western bat and population monitoring techniques to help fill in and improve conservation and management. Besides all of those, he is also an enthusiast of parasites, and insects. Please join me in welcoming our speaker. [ Applause ] 
>> Hello everyone. 

>>> Thanks for coming. Just a quick overview of what I will be discussing. We will quickly go over that evolution and diversity, the ecological importance of bats, conservation, challenges and issues and research methods we use to study bats. 

>>> And putting it all together into our research program. 
>> The word that means hand wing. Their finger bones are elongated which makes up the structure of the wing. Evolution of bats was a mystery. People were looking at fossils for long time but this is one of the oldest examples of the bat fossil from about 50 million years ago discovered in Wyoming and it looks very much like a modern bat. It has the same features, it can echo locate already. Recently, evidence base, I'm going to stumble through these names. The ancestors include ancestors of whales and camels. I just don't move. 
>> [ Laughter ] 
>> Have common ancestors with camel, and whales. That's interesting, they're not at all related to rodents. Or shrews or things like that. 
>> There are two sub orders I used to be easier to remember, there were the old world fruit bats and everything else. Now, they recognize as including the old world fruit bats, those over here that look like flying foxes and also the family, these are all old world bats that are widespread throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, Asia but don't occur in the Americas. 

>>> The other suborder previously known as the micro. These are thought of as micro-bats that evolved to eat insects. They have diversified quite a lot. This is a typical map you see here. This medicine of diversity and ecological niche, feeding behaviors and everything. Stuck in Central America, we have these guys which are the Honduran white bats. They get their white coloration because they form little tense that they live in by chewing on leaves. If you're ever in the jungle and you look up you will see lots of lights coming through, the white, coloration may help with camouflage in that situation. 
>> These cute little ones smiling at you are vampire bats. Two species specialize in mammalian and one on bird blood, they have anticoagulants in the saliva so when they feed they make a little Nick for the teeth and they laugh up the blood like a kitten. There testing to study for reciprocal altruism where they will feed each other if they were able to be successfully. 
>> There are couple species that have evolved to each fish. This is the bulldog bat also found in Central and South America. They have these giant feet and they can detect swimming up to the service and then scooped them up and eat them. This is about that takes off and all the lumps on his chin, it's not those might be chemicals sensory organs which they use to identify whether their prey is safe to eat or not and they use them because their hunting frogs. They listen for frogs calling and go down and tap them quickly and if it's palatable, they will gobbled up and it's not, do not call themselves eating poisonous frogs. 
>> I have no idea what the species is [ Laughter ] . I will leave that there. 
>> Out likely we have locally in the greater Bay Area we have 16 species and two families. While there is a bunch of commonalities at all of our local bats, they all eat insects, they all live fairly long times for animals their size and for the most part have one or two pups per year. There's quite a lot of variation in their ecology. We have some that are migratory and largely solitary. Most of these species are pre-social. When they the ecology, about like this might forge for little insects emerging off of the surface of the pond, whereas this bat is going to go after much larger prey. 
>> The genus is a pretty common and widespread throughout the world. Here, we have species. Like I said, some specialize in aquatic emergent insects. Others like this on left side is the Western long year and this is a gleaning species. They detect prey sitting on leaves and scoop it up so they're not going after flying pray as much in their specialized for the cluttered interior forest. 
>> This listens for prey walking on the ground. There will hear crickets, scorpions, large beetles and land on the ground and get stung a bunch and have a little battle and fly off with it. They are an incredible species to work with. We have them in several of our study areas. This is a species I did my Masters on. They have a description of their fur, it's not a discussion of their mating system. There along distant migrant. The fee must travel up north to Canada to raise their pups. The mail seem to migrate not quite as far. If you look at distribution maps and people who are working on trying to figure out the movement patterns, it becomes a confusing mess. We barely understand their movement patterns it's fascinating. The species are solitary in the foliage's tree is, they will just hang on the branch of a redwood tree in looks like a little pinecone or something. 
>> It's also the only native land mammal in Hawaii which is a testament to their amazing findability. During migration presumably they flew off the coast of California, ended up in Hawaii and there is evidence they have done that several times and now there is an endangered subspecies. There the second largest bat in the U.S. 
>> There about 25 grams. Five Nichols. 
>> An example of free tail bats, this is the Mexican free tail back, the species of open-air forager, their specialized to hunt prey high up in the sky, flying thousands of feet up in a form large maternity colonies. Some of the giant back caves in Texas have four 5 million bats, that's this species. They are Margaret Terry and some parts of the range. They occur in Brazil as well. I'm not sure. 
>> Why study bats? I would argue they are an amazing, underappreciated and understudied member of our ecosystem. There is an incredible amount of diversity, currently there are 1408 recognize species in the world and that represents about 20%, almost a quarter of mammalian diversity. There present on every continent except for Antarctica. That works for me as a reason to focus on them. Also, they provide really important ecosystem services. An example is, their importance to agriculture. Most that's in North America are insects of arrests and eat a lot of bugs. Some can eat 1000 mosquitoes in an hour. Half their body weight in one night and they are voracious predators. And trying to quantify the benefits for agriculture, you have to experiments where they exclude bats from agricultural plots. They'll put netting over portions of fields at night and not let that's come in and then open it so birds can still get in and they find there is increased insect damage to those crops, increased numbers of caterpillars and things that farmers don't like to have to deal with. 
>> Endless papers from studies primarily looking at agriculture in Texas, looking at corn and cotton. They quantify the avoided cost of value of services bats provide at $74 an acre. That's form is not having to apply pesticides and not losing crops to damage. If you extrapolate that across the country, you get into billions of dollars in services provided. The minimum value is about 3 billion and could potentially be in tens of billions of dollars in services. 
>> Also, most bats in the Americas are insect arrest, there are two species not in the Americas, in the U.S.. There are two that are nectar feeding specialist. The long those that specialize on drinking nectar from night blooming agave and cactus. Agave are an important crop to produce tequila with. This is a study published by USGS authors. They were studying  these nectar feeding bats in the northern part of their range during migration and looking at their movements patterns and foraging. Normally when you have these that feed on similar types of things, they try and partition the resources they are not competing directly with each other. However in this range, both species migrate into similar area that turns out is similar caves, they commingle with each other and forage in similar habitats. The caves they were roosting and were about 20 kilometers away from their fortune Grassley would make that trip back and forth throughout the night. 
>> One of these species was an endangered species and a lot of work by U.S. and Max and Mexican bat biologist worked to protect important cave resources and study their movement and ecology and they were unlisted. 
>> Colleague at the Institute of ecology at the University of Mexico recognize the importance of these bats to agave but in tequila protection in the importance vice versa. When bats pollinate the agave, then increases the genetic diversity of the agave and I can allow them to withstand changes like emerging diseases or climate change. The plants might be more resilience to that. 
>> He worked to develop a bat friendly tequila syndication were producers agreed to allow a certain proportion of their agave to go to Florida for harvesting and that provides food resources for these bats during migration. It's a cool win-win story and they're starting to send more and more bat friendly tequila to the U.S. 
>> I'm going to switch gears and talk about conservation concerns. 
>> Bats, like most species of wildlife have to deal with common issues like habitat loss. The might not be enough land as it used to be in that will have an effect it also certain parts of the world, hunting and harassment. Some parts of the world, people hunt that's for food, and other places does let a stigma associated with that some people might destroy intentionally or otherwise bats habitats because they are free to bats. 
>> However, recently, this is a paper published a few years ago at the USGS Fort Collins science center. They were looking at mass mortality events  and they searched the literature for times when lots of bats died and looked at that over time. Coming back, starting in the 1800s, there would be these outbreaks, there be hunting, various things like that would carry on. Since about the year 2000, mass mortality events started to increase in the two things that increased our wind turbines in white nares syndrome. These are large things that are affecting bat population potentially which are some of the big focuses of our research now. 
>> White noise is a pathogen that kills bats. It gets its name from these things that -- is caused by a fungus. Is actually widespread throughout Europe and Asia. In Europe and Asia, the range that presumably he evolved in, bats get infected occasionally they show symptoms from it. It doesn't cause mass mortality. Is probably a mild annoyance like athlete's foot. However, it was introduce them into the Americas and the exposed bats in the Americas have been causing huge mortality in some populations and some areas. 
>> It attacks the bat tissues while they hibernate. Bats go into torpor which means they slow down their metabolic rates, slow down there breathing and suppress their immune system and they do that to survive long winters when they cannot forage successfully. During that time period, the growth temperature, they also have a suppressed immune systems they cannot mount a defense against it and they start to rouse frequently from irritation and they burn through their fat reserves before they can forage successfully in the spring. 
>> Some species and some can see upwards of 90% mortality. This is a bit updated but as of 2012, there was over 6.7 million bats affected. 
>> This is a map the USGS national wildlife Center has. They update this  weekly with our new records and you can see the cursor shows up, here in Albany, this is basically Ground Zero for the infection starting in the Americas and probably 2005. It started to spread out, how you would expect a bat to bat transmitted disease would spread. Every now and then there are some gems but in 2016, jumped to Washington state. That could have been transported perhaps on a human who had been inside a cave and got exposed shortly after went somewhere in Washington that bats were or it could have been inadvertently transported by an infected bat being moved in a shipping container or truck. They're not sure how it jumped to that location. 
>> That was concerning because it was such a large jump and it caught bat researchers offguard. Recently, we had some detections in California and that means the labs that are testing, we serve ill by swabbing bats and sending the swabs to the wildlife Health Center and they do quantity on it. Sometimes they get results where they detect something below the positive threshold they would consider a positive time for infection I could be a false positive, it could just be a very low concentration of the pathogen. And so, there were four detections at the same site over two years. That was concerning in California decided to go public with the findings to increase research on the area and increase caution on bat research and people who might be entering caves. 
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> It was detected in a maternity colony. And then a town. 

>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> She asked what accounts for the pattern how moves across the country. I'm not exactly sure. It started radiating from the site and part of it could be overlapping with where large bats are. Kind of along where you have large caves. Some of the detections sites like down in Texas, the fungus is spreading around you're not seeing signs of the disease there because it doesn't get cold enough for bats to hibernate. They are transported the fungus around but not suffering disease symptoms. 
>> The other big issue is wind energy departments. Wind energy is increasingly popular, carbon neutral source energy that is widespread throughout the world. Early on, and the development of facilities, people were concerned about bird fatalities. They would got in survey look for dead things to want by impacts this might have on birds and they found during certain times of the year, and certain site that was strut they will start to see lots of bats. They would find dozens in a day. A paper in 2008 to look at the patterns of bats fatalities across wind energy facilities in North America, they look at the species composition and then they found the hoary bat  account for almost half of the fatalities and wind energy sites and other highly impacted species include the eastern red bat and the silver haired bat and these are all migratory species of bats. This seems to be a subset of species that are being impacted by wind energy and other sites occur, other species suffer fatalities at lower rates. The thing about hoary  bats,  they are impossible to study. They fly really high so we don't really have of the population sizes. Is concerning to see these fatality rates across wind energy sites. We don't know what kind of impact that will have.
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> She asked how high they fly. There are accounts of a plane striking hoary bats at 8000 feet.  Summit at this Mazzoni and can look at the wildlife basin that. We don't know how common that is or if that was a fluke. They potentially do fly as high as Mexican free tail bats. 
>> There is a hoary bats.  The study published a couple weeks ago was looking at an acoustic monitoring data monitoring program to conducted in Washington from the year 2000 two more recent nationwide bat monitoring program called any bat which is managed by the U.S. geological survey. They were estimating occupancy rates. Occupancy is a measure of how likely is species occurs in the area. You can kind of think of it as an index of population but not exactly. They compared occupancy rates earlier to more recent from the more recent survey efforts. On the right-hand, this is the older data you can see everywhere that suggest a high occupancy rates and as you get into more ships that slower. On left hand side, this is the more recent survey results. This is just a regionwide decline in occupancy. And wind energy is thought to be the primary factor behind this. It's a really interesting and creative way to try and hit a publishing transmitter requires a lot of research to get those baseline data. 
>> Right now, we don't have those kinds of data for comparison. 
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> How do we learn about wild bats? They're tricky to study. They are largely silent to our years. They fly high, they get into really small nooks and crannies. There out at night when most people are asleep. Unless you decide to become a bat biologist. One of the techniques that has been really helpful is monitoring. This exploits the trait bats used to navigate prayer with Eckel okay. Bats produce echolocation fairly regularly and species will have echolocation that are adaptive to help them navigate through the environment they live in and catch the prey the hands. 
>> This is an example of a bats pass which is what we call a series of echolocation calls. On the y-axis you have frequency and kilohertz, how high-pitched is a sound? On the x-axis you have time in milliseconds. Human hearing goes up to about 20 kilohertz. If you are a young kid who has since gone to a lot of rock concerts or made other poor decisions in life, and as you get older, the upper range of your hearing will start to decrease. In older adults it may be like 15 kilohertz or so. 
>> This bats produces calls that start at hundred kilohertz and sweep down to 50. This provides a lot of detail about tiny prey. You can identify that. Know when they flew by the microphone. 
>> The programs work by comparing calls recorded in the wild to know reference libraries. Researchers will go out, catch bats and release them and record the calls you have species in the call attached. 
>> However, unlike birds which evolved their songs to communicate and differentiate from other species, bats that hunt for similar sized prayer and similar habitats in similar sizes, there calls the vault looks someone will end up with multiple species have similarly shaped calls. This is two different species and the difference is subtle. The California has more of a tale that dips down at the end's. The other has a knee. There's a more abrupt break into the lower part. Besides that, these are very similar. A lot of times you cannot definitively ID calls on species. 
>> Other issues, publishing counts. It this doesn't give you that, tells you how me times a bat flew by. I don't know if you're getting one in circles hundred times or hundred flying by once. That is one of the drawbacks. One of the benefits is you can record a lot of data. You put these in habitats that might be difficult to sample with other methods. 
>> One of the main ways we catch bats for studying is with netting. Picture a giant volleyball met Balaban that with really fine-mesh. The bats will come along and ones that are paying attention can detect that you will see them go right over the top or underneath. The ones that aren't paying attention, we can catch. They will get tangled up and we carefully extract them and then we can take them in process them in record lots of biologic data so we can determine the species, reproductive status, the sex, we can also take tissue samples for genetic exit genetic analysis and attach tracking devices. 
>> After, we let them go and often they're very feisty and you try to let them go and they just sit there and they often need a little help to be on the way. 
>> There is also many visual techniques we used to study bats. Often this can be as simple as counting bats were they are easy to counts. This is a paper published by my supervisor. This was on 25 years of monitoring a bat colony and portray us. They are very sensitive to disturbance. There is species of special concern. They often will just be in the open ceiling of their arrest and if people disturb them, they abandon their young and feel as maternity colony for the season. There is a house there that we have been monitoring. It was started years and years ago. ESA night vision scope with infrared spotlight so that I vision can see the light but the bats can't. We have a little cow to repress one button every time a bat flies out every time one flies in, another button. If feels like a brain training grant where you just sit there in our half hitting buttons. And at the end of the night, you have account of a number of bats in the roost that night. 
>> Using that data, looking at the trend over time, they found comparing the population to the number of successful or unsuccessful break-ins in the house were kids going to drink or stay there for little bit. They found every time there was a break in attempts, the bat population would crash and not do as well. The park service started securing the house, they put these big locks on it, security cameras and checking on it making sure people didn't disturb it and they were managing it to the bats. The number of break-ins decreased dramatically in the publishing has been steadily increasing since then. 
>> This video didn't work. I have one on YouTube. You can also use visual techniques to try to study bats as they are doing their batlike things, flying around in the environment. At four columns they have been using thermal cameras to try and study that behavior at wind turbines. This is about 300 feet up in the air. It's an 80 meter wind turbine and you can see these bats flying around and using this data to try and learn about why bats might be vulnerable to wind turbine strike and hopefully that will lead to solutions. 
>> Is a very creative way to try and study bats in their natural habitat. 
>> Less, tracking techniques. If you're studying flying foxes. These massive bats, they had these great GPS trackers. On the right side you can see a tracker oftentimes these will have solar panels on them. They record GPS locations you can go back to Europe office and get emails about the bat location and they have really nice movement data. However, a lot of bats we are studying our tiny. Many weigh about as much as a nickel. We have to work with much more limited battery space, limited technology we have these amazing radio transmitters that we can glue onto bats and they emit a simple beep. The battery lasts a week to two weeks in the trackers way about .2-.5 grams for some smaller bats we are tracking. That's how we are trying to study movements around here. Hopefully over time, the technology will get utter in a GPS tax would get small enough where I can sit in my office I get emails. Until then, we have to run around after the bats using antenna to study them. We have tags that way about a gram at the Dutch has been data see how to recapture the bats to get your data which can be challenging, especially when studying migratory animals. 
>> I will talk now about putting it all together. Our thought process and designing project we are doing. When I started at USGS, we are working on projects we wanted to address research needs. Academic things that can help us understand and help manage bats in the future. How will white nose syndrome affect bats in the Western U.S. How do we monitor populations? We also want to address management needs of our Department of Interior partners that can be what habitats are important, how are the populations doing? Do we need to make any management decisions? In 2016, a collaboration set up by the Goldengate national Parks Conservancy members of national Park, state parks, water district and county parks published the help of the non-report where they tried to quantify all the factors and they had great trim lines on how the population was doing, all these other species of wildlife but bats were identified as major data gap with they didn't snow was species were there, where their rare species that might be in the area and how were the populations doing? 
>> We developed a project with them where we set up these goals. Study the not terminal nocturnal habitats. Learn more about forestry habitat which is basically all the species in the area. What types of teachers are important and then, fill in the data gaps to give land managers better information to inform their long-term conservation of the populations. 
>> We replicated this project we started and we are also doing a parallel project in pinnacle. 
>> First to address the natural habitat associations we are using monitoring to address that. For the first year we didn't want to make any assumptions about bats. We decided to select 50 random locations across all the different habitat types. For the summer we would take a bat detector to each location and place it there for one week and then we had six detectors we randomly rotated across all our 50 sites. 
>> Then, we have program that's classified that's calls to species and then I decided to manually that all the calls we recorded which meant looking at 60,000 that calls and was a terrible decision but it did improve our results. 
>> We recorded various habitat metrics at the sites and while working on the multi-species occupancy models integrating result from all the different species. We are still in the process of that and I'll present single species models here. 
>> Our focal area was basically all public lands in Marin County. This is the random location we selected and you have a lot of points in these larger contiguous areas of protected habitat. We also have several types very close to urban. Urban and suburban development and more isolated. We would go out and set up a detector on a 20 foot hole and therefore we can go back and get the data. So, we collected over 60,000 files that passed the tolerance scrubber to remove diverse noise from our files. We were left a 12,500 files with bats after me looking at all of them and again, terrible decision. Stuck after doing manual studying we detected 13 out of 13 species which are all the species we expected to occur in the area. This was a lot of numbers, I won't go into too much. I want to focus on the types of species detected as you can see some like the California and Mexican free tailed bat were very widespread and occurred much throughout everywhere were several other species were much more restricted. Especially this is a harder species to detect. 
>> This is a more fun way to look at the same data. This is just a number of species detected at each site. Larger dots have more species. The largest have 11 species in several on the coast had one or sometimes no species detected. This is what you would expect. There are lots of species in the larger protected areas. We have some site in Eastern Marin where we had lots of species in these sites were actually surrounded by water district land were these Giants treatment ponds which are huge march and that explains why it's such a productive habitats for that site. 
>> After our initial year of the 50 random points we have protocols outlined in the monitoring program and this is where potentially place your microphones and locations you expect to be with lots of bats. This could be riparian or along ponds or edges of forest, things like that. You leave them for four nights instead of one week. This data we will use over time to look at occupancy trends to see if there is any issues of concern or fats seem they are stable and this will also be provided to the California and nationwide efforts to monitor that occupancy. 
>> These are the locations we use for bats data. The entire continent is broken into grids. Each 10 kilometer grid is broken into quadrants and one detector in each quadrant. That's what you see here. Really have two years of data is not long enough to establish lines. This is the first path of data for generating this long-term. You can see, on the y-axis you have a number of sites each bat species detected. On the x-axis it was a different species and so blue is 2018 the first year and greenest 2019. You have little increases and decreases for most species which is about what she would expect. There are some things like the Western red that you can see big decline. I wouldn't be too concerned with that with only two years of data but over time you'll be able to see is it a long-term trend we need to worry about or is that just a blip where we detect as many that your for some reason. 
>> To look at roosting habitat, we use radio tracking. This was the touching little radio transmitters to bats and following them into the jungle or forest and studying what kinds of habitats and counting as they emerge in quantifying their habitat preferences. 
>> We conducted radio tracking during summer and winter. The summer season is important for bat population because that is the maternity season where females form maternity colonies and their habitat requirements are important for the bat population. We also conducted in the winter because we know next to nothing about what the bats do in the winter. 
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> Torpor and hibernation are very synonymous. Hibernation is a long-term torpor. When they go into torpor, that's when they drop their body temperatures. 
>> That's one of the reasons we are doing this. In this area, it's a mildly see bats fly around in the winter so we don't know how long they are in torpor and how that might affect the severity of white nose syndrome in the area. 
>> We are midway through this research so this is not synthesized but this is the show the diversity of species we study in the types of roosts we find. We are finding paths and trees and buildings. Some are moving between trees and buildings. They will frequently change roosts every couple nights and we have some they'll be in a tree one day and a building the next day. They keep us on our toes. 
>> We have a similar species but different habitat where there's lots of trees also, lots of nice oak trees that have lots of cavities but lots of rock features as well that they can roost into and there we find lots of bats. 
>> This is an example of the California that we tracked and went to this giant first. The tree with 80 meters tall and the bats were near the very top. About 14 California bats flew out of in the bat was there for several nights and then moved to another similar tree just down the way. 
>> Hoary bats,  someone asked whether they hibernate or not. They are thought of as a migratory species. Reasonably they migrates they don't have to hibernate. However, we were to checked them in the winter where did leave for two weeks. This could have migrated to the area but was also hibernating in this is, I checked with the forest service in Northern California with a lot of that research up there. He found similar results with which are tracking where the bats might be migrating to the area but they're going for long periods of time without moving during the winter as well. 
>> This is just another example that we found. My colleague is pointing in a little wood panel we tracked about from 20 feet where we caught it there were four others up in a which it. It was there for several nights and then it moved three quarters of a mile to this on the lower right. 27 bats emerged from that tree. This was during the maternity season and this was a really productive female bats that was really interesting. 
>> We also had a male California my Otis going to this little branch on a fallen down tree. There are some bark and we could see his little antenna sticking out of it just went to the same spot night after night, day after day.[ Laughter ] It was three feet off the ground, this little spindly stick coming off a downed tree. 
>> We have lots of rocky habitats. We had bats there in these large rocky outcrops where there was a maternity colony were dozens and dozens of bats emerged and we got one of our colleagues from Park service to check in on a couple days later another was nothing. It turns out that's pretty common where in other studies they have tracked them they found the entire colony will switch locations every 3-4 days throughout the summer. Tried to think about monitoring the population ask my head spend. Trying to keep up with that for the entire colony is hopping around the landscape. We also had a bat, single male under this little crevice by feet off the ground in this tiny little gap or my pencil is pointing. Invariably, half of our bats will go to these massive cliff features. This is our colleague with the National Park Service descending down to try to find this bats that was roosting in a crack to quantify that habitat we are getting trained in these methods so we can help. 
>> It's incredible the places they can get to. 
>> They also constantly surprises. We had one French roost on the side of a bank. We were tracking it's, this lovely she would lots of cavities and were staying at it for a while and then I put my antenna relies was down and to the left and actually attracted to this little place on the ground. We had when we are tracking up going from tree to tree and there were lots of crevices for its height in and then we lost the signal which is typical while doing these studies. A couple days later were tracking some bats there in a building close to downtown and we picked up a signal and tracked to a ventilation system on the porch of a sushi Russian restaurant. We're poking around and we don't, we saw the bat had dropped his transmitter in the ventilation system or for had action and there. We had a sushi bat which was a surprise. 
>> These projects, we are midway through we hope to be able to provide important data to the lab manager so they can better know what kinds of habitat are important for their bats population and come up with more effective ways to monitor and manage bat populations. This is also important data for figure out how bad publishers respond to habitat loss, climate change, white nose syndrome and other pressures they may face. 
>> We are developing our projects to look at Western bats and other habitats so we were about to go to Sequoia national Park or we will try and study bats as they transition from fall in the wintertime because it turns out the bats don't actually hibernate except for one or two species. This is the kind of work we are trying to do to figure out where they're going and that can provide clues as to how they may respond to white nose syndrome because not being in a cave may affect transition dynamics that make the lit severe disease. It may also make monitoring difficult. 
>> I want to thank my supervisor for letting me run around and chase bats all over the West. Thank all of you for joining me in all project partners. When I was 20 to get into bats, I would always hear about USGS and it was this amazing organization  with all this mere cutting-edge science and it has been such a privilege to be able to do these projects with them. Thank you and I have time for some questions. [ Applause ] 
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> Some bats are known to live over 30 years. Little tiny brown bats there banded 34 years ago, things like that. It isn't in the it is an abnormally long time. Some species are known to live 8 to 12 years. They are not like mice or rats with a live one-three years. They live a long time.
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> People are working on different ways to reduce risks they're trying to study ultrasonic deterrence with a blast a bunch of noise it makes a terrible place to hang out if you are a bats. You can also change so the turbine still start working until the wind is higher for most of the fatalities are on nights when many on the turbine are operating but not when they're trying to fly around and forge. People are working on a variety of methods try and reduce the fatality rates. There are some promising things out there but none have been super lively yet. 

>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> It depends. Some of those large congregations under bridges or in caves, there's the high vernacular during the winter. We don't have that in the Western U.S. as far as we can tell. Bridges a lot of times those are maternity colonies. Mexican free tail bats and others posses another species will, some will stay put through out the maternity season and stay in the same habitat. We are finding a lot of the bats that are more transient resources using things that are decaying and move through the entire attorney season. You have a colony in my be a network where there's larger network of bats among themselves or, we don't know how. It seems like the whole colony is moving at once that might be to disrupt parasite cycles. Or could be some other reason. 
>> It seems like a lot of bats move frequently in natural habitats. 
>> Thank you for your presentation. 
>> Is not known for sure, it's presumed it was brought on a person. Likely somebody who was checking out caves in Europe and then showed up in a cave, a heavily trafficked tourist cave here. 

>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> Our acoustic monitoring is primarily here in the summertime. We don't have too many migratory bats. We kind of go into the migration period. I have created work in that area focus on migratory bats. The spring and fall. It seems like it's a migratory hotspot we would capture 10 or 12 hoary bats was normally  there's more. That's something we weren't focused on for the main part of the research but we are interested in working on that angle as well. 

>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> That's a really good question. Ice studied hoary bats. They're not very social. There thought of a solitary  and their calls are simple. They are the equivalent of hey, I'm here or get out of here. Other species that are really social and have more complex social structures like Mexican free tail bats, I don't know too much about the language abilities of a lot of North American bats but they have found evidence of babbling, very complex vocal repertory. And so species they found that 26 distinct syllables and string them together. Some of their vocal quotation can get pretty comp located. They have all these little different songs they used to impress. 
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> That's a really good question which I don't know the answer to. I can think of, bats are normally very social already they often congregate at night. Different species will roost together nationally naturally. Focusing just on their keeping them separate might not affect transmission rates. If it's a really good habitats that allows the bat population to be productive, that may play a factor in their conservation. I can't think of pros and cons. 
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> They are nocturnal because they can echo locate. I would imagine, maybe originally I can think of a couple reasons. There's a lot more insect activity at nights. The night sky has more mods and things like that. They don't have to deal with hocks. 
>> What is their natural predator? 
>> For the most part, they don't have huge predators that take off large parts of their population. Some hocks will specialize in bats or learn bats patterns and go hang out where lots of bats emerge and pick them off. Raccoons make some solitary bets will be harassed. 
>> Owls catch bats at night. None of them are massive focus predators of bats. Also essential and Central and South America there are bats that lead other bats. 
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> There is some evidence, some have declined attributed to sect insecticide. I know people are studying that's and have found insecticides and pesticides will affect their neurology and other ways. It's not a huge area of my expertise. There are potential impacts in people are studying that. 

>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> There is a lot of work going into studying how, the fungus being widespread throughout Europe and Asia as providing a lot of clues house how they may adapt. They found they adapt by just tolerating it. They don't mount an aggressive immune response. That could be part of it. They also co-involved or could've caused annotations period also, larger bats that have larger or shorter winter period they will have lower mortality rates as well. We don't have too much evidence yet that North American bats are responding with similar adaptations but we do see different levels of impact on different species. Bats in Europe and Asia that have very similar ecology persist with it. Hopefully that's promising. 

>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> That is a big question I don't know too much about but it is a very good question. Some bats, more urban adapted bats will go and forge around streetlights because insects are attracted to them and they will cruise back and forth. There certain areas lights attract bats. Some learn to love that and it's a great foraging habitats. Others are much more sensitive and feel more comfortable in the shadows and may not like to feel so exposed. There is a theory of lunar phobia which I don't buy. In general, with the full moon, you don't catch as many bats. People think that's because the bats avoid being out in the bright lights that could be in effect. We are radio tracking bats and during a full moon, we didn't catch any but all the bats that had radio tags we could detect them flying around.
>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> You can get a bats detector to see how many are in your own backyard. [ Laughter ] Their different models you can hook up to a smart phone or tablets. All the difference algorithms come with a grain of salt or disclaimer they're not hundred percent. There are lots that you can go out at night and you can see in the we realize there are bats flying all over. You can record their calls and figure out what species you have. 

>> [ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>> They using machine learning and neural networks. Bats don't have super consistent location calls. They will adjust their calls based on habitat and what they are doing. That creates a lot of variation within the species. I know there has been where they have been able to train algorithms to detect individuals and the potential is there. I think it's a problem. The bats are very plastic in their calls. 
>> There is potential. 
>> It looks like it's time to wrap up. Think everyone we thank everyone for coming. October 10 is our next meeting.[ Event Concluded ]