Bats are the second most diverse group of mammals in the world. There are over 900 known species, eight of which are found in Wisconsin. Bats provide important ecosystem services like insect control and pollination. Unfortunately, White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a deadly fungal infection, is spreading through North America at an alarming rate killing hundreds of thousands of bats. In collaboration with the Wisconsin DNR, the Urban Ecology Center is helping researchers determine baseline bat population dynamics using high-tech Anabat detectors that identify bats by recording their ultrasonic calls. Two stationary detectors record from Riverside (year-round) and Washington (during spring and fall migration) Parks. A third mobile detector is used by volunteers on bat walks. A GPS unit allows us to plot their walks, as well as the time and location in which bats are encountered.
If you are interested in helping the Urban Ecology Center bat research, please attend a volunteer workshop or contact Meghan Jones at
For more information on Wisconsin’s bats and WNS, please visit: http://wiatri.net/inventory/bats/
The Urban Ecology Center’s bat research has received valuable funding from:
- The Citizen-based Monitoring Network of Wisconsin’s Partnership Program.
- The Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Research Initiative
And by a generous donation from Verne and Marion Read