Catching Bats: An ETR Halloween

Ever wonder how to catch bats?

With Halloween approaching, you may be looking for some party favors or something for a ghoulish trick. Why not try bats? They’re a staple of any great Halloween scare-fest. These winged mammals have been striking fear into our hearts for ages.

Jokes aside, the reality is that many bat species are threatened by extinction due to various threats, including disease.  Our very own Zeb Weese wrote about what you can do to help. Conservationists catch and record bats to monitor populations.

Just in time for Halloween, Zeb gives us a tutorial on catching bats while doing conservation work in the Mammoth Cave region of Kentucky.

There are [bat] species that have been endangered for a long time and there are other species that will probably be listed pretty soon.

– ZEB WEESE

Six Steps to Catching Bats (For Professional Use Only)

  1. Pick a ‘net lane’ where bats will be funneled; a natural corridor. Set up nets about 30 meters high.
  2. Check the nets every 15 minutes or so. You want to get bats out of the nets as quickly as possible to prevent injury, and to keep them from chewing through the nets (yes, they have teeth).
  3. Put it in a bag to keep it safe for transport.
  4. Remove bat from bag and analyze–hair, toe length, age, weight, etc.
  5. Add a bat band to tag the bat for later tracking.
  6. Release the bat.

Disclaimer: You really shouldn’t give bats out as a party favor, or catch them unless you’re a professional conservationist. Bat populations are stressed and under threat–don’t add to their troubles. Further, EcoTheo is not responsible for any disasters which may ruin your party because you actually brought a bag of bats to it.

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