Boy Scouts Help With WNS Winter Survey

by Kirsten Alvey-Mudd

Thanks to Boy Scout Troop 864 from Wildwood, Mo and Christa Droste from Oakfield, Wisconsin for helping with WNS Winter surveys in Northeast Missouri yesterday!

The group learned about caves, cave safety, formations, cave biology and conservation while counting 241 bats, 11 live and 9 dead pickerel frogs, 10 creek chub, 2 wolf spiders and 1 dead raccoon. 127 tricolor, 11 little brown, 2 endangered gray and 8 endangered northern long-eared bats that were visibly WNS free. 1/3 of bats seen showed visible WNS, some quite extensive: 50 tricolor, 39 little brown, 1 endangered Indiana and 3 endangered northern long-eared bats.

This site has suffered an 87% loss of overall bat populations: 63% of tricolor and 74% of little brown. Since some recent movement has been seen in big brown bats already, we're assuming the 100% loss of those is due to early spring warm temps. Hopefully these same warm temps will allow some of these WNS bats to fly out, forage and survive at least this survey season.

Kirsten Alvey-Mudd is the Executive Director at Missouri Bat Census

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National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee. The youth group’s connection to caves and caving.


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