Your 15 days trial period is ended, please purchase a license and activate.

Get Involved

We need cavers to help us monitor caves for bat activity. More specifically we need help installing acoustic loggers that detect bat calls in caves. The data collected by the acoustic loggers is used to tell us if there are bats using the cave, can help us tell what species of bats are present, as well as how the bats are using a cave and how this use changes seasonally. Acoustic loggers are generally placed in caves in fall and retrieved in spring. In addition temperature/humidity loggers are often installed at the same time as acoustic loggers to understand the climate preferences of hibernating bats.


How do I get started?


Step 1: Get in touch and tell us where you are planning to go caving. If the site(s) you are planning to visit have potential for bat activity, we will send you data loggers with installation instructions. Highest priority sites include large, remote cave systems or mines with previous bat sightings and/or sits with high potential for bat use. 

Step 2: Complete and submit a volunteer release form (download PDF) and send by email or mail.

Step 3: During your mine/cave visit, fill out this reporting form (download PDF). Photos are always appreciated and sample collection may also be useful. 

Step 4: Once you get home, fill out this reimbursement form (download PDF) and we will refund you for a portion of your travel costs ($0.485 per kilometre). 

Step 5: Send your forms and photos to batcaver@wcs.org 

This is a great way to get involved in some cave bat science and will greatly extend the reach and scope of this program.  For more information, contact us.

IMPORTANT: All forms must be saved onto your computer and opened in Adobe Reader for them to function correctly and for any information you have entered to be saved. 


Instructions


Roost Logger Deployment Guide

Temperature/Humidity Logger Deployment Guidelines

Collection protocols:  bat carcasses, skulls and guano


Watch this Data Logger Deployment Video:


Protect Bats

Bats are very sensitive to disturbance while hibernating. If you see hibernating bats, leave the area immediately.

Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com
MORE

Clean Gear

Decontaminating your gear between caving trips can prevent the spread of WNS.



Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com
MORE

Find Bats

Install a bat monitoring device in a cave or mine when you go caving.



Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com
MORE

Updates

NEW HIBERNACULUM FOUND

February 2017

On a February 2017 trip to the boreal forest of northern Alberta, BatCaver volunteers have confirmed the use of a cave by Little Brown Myotis bats for hibernation.  In this cave, 213 Myotis lucifugus were counted, but it is suspected that more exist.  The cave itself is unusual in that it was formed by a light sulphuric acid dissolving the limestone, making the environment fairly inhospitable for humans.  Bats were swabbed for samples of DNA and to monitor for signs of white-nose syndrome.  Ultrasonic data loggers that record bat activity were deployed, along with temperature and humidity loggers which gather information on the type of cave climate the bats are using at this site.  This is the third largest hibernaculum found in Alberta to date.

In our partnering with the general public, biologists and the caving community, other smaller newly discovered hibernation sites have been brought to our attention.  These include sites in British Columbia in the regions of these communities:  near Victoria; Port Alberni; Greenwood;  Dawson Creek; and Hudsons Hope.  Many other old mine sites have been found to contain large numbers of hibernating bats, primarily in southern BC.

Click here to read the full press release.


NEW EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS

February 2017

The BatCaver program has produced brochures aimed at people visiting caves which explain the risks of inadvertently transporting white-nose syndrome spores from one region to another.  It also contains conservation messaging, decontamination protocols for WNS and contacts for further information.   

These have been sent to tourist caves in western Canada as well as caving organizations.  In addition, we have produced signage regarding bat conservation messaging, intended for posting at entrances to bat hibernation caves.  Other signage has been produced in consultation with BC Parks, for posting at trailheads to provincial cave parks which has similar conservation messaging.  We are also workng with other bat groups across Canada on bat translocation signage.  This is regarding the issues around bats being accidentally transported by campers and their vehicles when moving around North America.  The concern is regarding moving bats infected with white-nose syndrome to uninfected regions.

Video

White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a fungal disease that has caused up to 100% bat mortality in cave hibernacula in Eastern Canada and United States. The longer the West can remain WNS-free, the more time there is to develop critical conservation strategies for vulnerable bat species.

WNS AND WESTERN CANADA

DECONTAMINATION PROTOCOLS FOR VISITING BAT HIBERNACULA

Watch this video in French.

Copyright 2017 by Wildlife Conservation Society