Bat Watchers Wanted For DNR Summer Monitoring Project In Georgia

Friday, June 13, 2014

Biologists with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are concerned that bat populations may be declining, especially since white-nose syndrome – a fast-spreading disease fatal to bats – was detected in the state last year.

Now, Georgians can help monitor bats in their area.

Have bats in a bat house, barn or other structure? Consider participating in the summer emergence counts project led by DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section.

“Emergence counts are one of the easiest ways to estimate bat numbers at summer roosts,” said wildlife biologist Trina Morris, who studies bats and coordinates monitoring for the Nongame Conservation Section, part of the DNR Wildlife Resources Division.

“You can invite your friends over to enjoy the show and take advantage of the natural pest control the bats are providing.”

Joining in is easy. Download instructions and a form to fill for each count at www.georgiawildlife.com/Bat-Roost-Monitoring. Participants are asked to complete the emergence counts for a roost twice during summer – although more counts are welcomed!

Ms. Morris hopes Georgians statewide will get involved. The project mirrors programs in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Emergence count surveys rate even more important because of the potential impact of white-nose syndrome, which has been documented in 25 states. Learn more about white-nose at www.georgiawildlife.com/WNS andwww.whitenosesyndrome.org.

If you don’t have a bat roost and want to build one, Bat Conservation International offers instructions at www.batcon.org. Kits and completed boxes built in Georgia are available at Habitat for Bats, www.habitatforbats.org.

Bats are picky so make sure you follow the instructions for building and placing a bat box to give you the best chance for attracting bats. Maybe someday soon you’ll be spending some pest-free summer evenings counting your bat colony!


Blitz At Black Rock Mountain Will Boost Understanding Of Bats

The night life around Black Rock Mountain State Park will keep researchers from across the state busy Sept. 4-7. It is all part of the Georgia Bat Working Group’s first Bat Blitz. The event based at the park in northeast Georgia’s Rabun County is focused on better understanding the area’s bat communities. But there is an even bigger picture. Organizer Trina Morris ... (click for more)

Drones Banned From Appalachian Trail

The National Park Service has developed an interim policy prohibiting the use of unmanned aircraft on NPS managed lands of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This is a new park use that could affect park resources, staff, and visitors in ways that the National Park Service has yet to identify, analyze and examine. It is the National Park Service policy to not allow a new park ... (click for more)

Boy, 16, To Face Murder Charges In Criminal Court On Triple Lookout Valley Slayings

A Lookout Valley youth who was 15 at the time of his alleged involvement in a massacre in the valley will stand trial as an adult. Jacob Allison, who is now 16, was taken by the sheriff's office to the Hamilton County Jail after a transfer hearing in Juvenile Court on Friday morning. Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw said under state law he has jurisdiction over rehabilitation ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Mackey Should Be Thankful For The State Troopers On Highway 153

This is in response to a statement made by Warren Mackey at the commission meeting.  His question was to the mayor regarding the state troopers writing tickets on Highway 153, saying they were on a rampage.   It is apparent that Mr. Mackey doesn’t travel this highway.  His only concern was that the ticket money was going into state funds and not into county funds. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let’s ‘Pay It Forward’

At 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning, this at a Starbucks coffee store located at 2186 Tyrone Blvd. in St. Petersburg, Fla.,  an unidentified woman who was first in line at the drive-through window, politely told the drive-through window clerk she would like to “pay it forward.” The clerk checked the next order – it was a caramel macchiato – and the first customer paid for both her ... (click for more)