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Woodland Dunes’ Bat Survey Highlights Top Bat Site in the State of Wisconsin
Woodland Dunes Nature Center has been conducting bat surveys on the West Twin River for seven years, and this year yielded some pretty exciting results.
“This is what we believe to be the best hoary bat site in Wisconsin, on a standardized survey basis,” stated Andrew Badje, conservation biologist for the Wisconsin DNR.
“On top of consistently really high rates of hoary bats over the past few years, this year topped the previous ones by a large percentage. I think you got something good going on here for them.”
The 2021 summer survey detected 5 different species including: big brown, little brown, hoary, silver-haired and the eastern red bat. Over 460 individuals were identified.
“Last year we also recorded five species, same as this year, and about 177 individuals,” said Jessica Johnsrud, survey coordinator. “We’ve consistently had four or five species each year we survey the West Twin.”
Johnsrud also stated that there have been no rare findings, but in 2019 the summer survey revealed a great number of individual bats recorded, 424, which was mentioned in the 2020 Echolocator online publication: https://wiatri.net/inventory/bats/news/pdf/2020MarEcholocator.pdf
This bat species eats insects and typically roosts in coniferous and mixed hardwood-conifer forests. It’s good see its numbers so strong when cave dweller species are in decline. This is also a good sign that there’s healthy habitat along the West Twin River.