Tracking Migratory Bats Goes High Tech

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hoary bat. By Brett Amy Thelen, courtesy of Creative Commons.

A paper featuring preliminary results of a science collaboration co-led by FORT scientist Paul Cryan was published this week in Scientific Reports. The paper, titled "First Direct Evidence of Long-distance Seasonal Movements and Hibernation in a Migratory Bat," describes the earliest results of ongoing efforts to find new ways of following the long-distance migration movements and hibernation patterns of small bats. The research team tested new miniaturized tracking devices and attachment methods on hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus) the bat showing greatest susceptibility during migration to wind turbines. In addition to tracking a 1-month, round-trip journey of >1000 km (620 mi.) by one hoary bat, the researchers also used a new type of tag to demonstrate that another hoary bat hibernated (likely in a tree) for an entire winter. 

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Paul Cryan