Bat Survey featured on STLPR

September 25, 2016

Do you know how to scare teenagers?  After this story, you might consider stepping up your game. 


We brought a group of high school students to a cemetery at night to catch bats.  But as Jennings High School students stepped off the school bus at dusk, they didn't look scared at all, they looked curious and excited!


Wildheart's Vona Kuczynska, Jenny Mullikin and graduate students from the University of St. Louis conducted a second bat survey at Bellefontaine Cemetery to document bat diversity in the southern grounds.  The  Whitney Harris World Ecology Center at UMSL invited students from Jennings High School to learn about local wildlife and how biologists study bats. The event also caught the attention of Eli Chen, the environmental reporter from STLPR, who came to see what all the buzz was about. 


When biologists catch bats and want to learn more about where the bats go, they attach tiny transmitters to their backs and track their movements and activity across landscapes. The students participated in bat tracking activity that simulated how biologists track bats. Tiny transmitters were hidden along the Cemetery paths and after dark, groups of students used tracking equipment to find the hidden transmitters.


Students followed signals emitted by the transmitters that could be picked up by receivers and antennas. The students all caught on quick, and were able to find their "bats" hidden in trees. The students also helped set up mist nets and record bats using acoustic detectors.  They even got to see a flying squirrel that was captured in the net! 


To read the St Louis Public Radio Article, click here:

For more information on Jennings High School awesome students and research projects, click here:





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