Meeting Minutes 10/13/15

The focus of our meeting this Tuesday was Bronson Curry's bat research in the eastern U.S.

But first, there will be two, yes two, trips to Page Wildlife Center this weekend. The trip on Saturday will roughly be from 1 - 3 and on Sunday from 12 - 2. If you plan on going, then be prepared to leave a half hour early. This might be one of the last trips so if you don't want to miss out, contact our co-Vice President Chris at cjherold

In other news, Deer Aging Workshops will be held on Nov. 3rd, 4th and 5th from  6 - 8 p.m. Professor Joe Folta, visiting instructor Brian Underwood and his graduate student, Paul Picciano will be teaching these classes and hope to recruit some help in the Deer Check Stations at Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. So if you do sign up for these classes, you will be required to sign up for two slots at the deer check station. This would be great experience to put on your resume so I encourage you all to think about it. We have not yet made sign-ups but they will be made available to you when we have all the information on this event.

Now for the presentation:
Bronson Curry is a graduate student working in Dr. Shannon Farrell's lab and this summer, he did research on Fire Island to detect species presence and habitat selection of bats. Before that Bronson has done numerous studies of bats along the east coast.
Bronson used to study language at NC State University when he began to work at the NC museum doing some bat research for a few years. Then he volunteered with the North Carolina Bat Working Group. The work he did with this group as well as a bat Bioblitz he participated in led him to meet with professionals that convinced him this was the field he wanted to work in. (Hint: Connections are Important!)
Bronson's presentation focused on the importance of bats, which are a huge keystone species. 20% of all mammal species are bats and they are widespread. They consume a number of pest species ($3 billion worth of pest control) and pollinators for multiple plants,including the tequila plant. Recently, White Nose Syndrome (WNS) has killed 5.7 bats in 10 years. 27 states and about 5 Canadian territories have documented cases of WNS and the numbers are only growing. That's why bat research has never been more important and there is a lot of work to be done, especially in the lab, where the most recent notable work has been conducted. There's also the issue of wind farms which kill bats that fly into the pressure vortex created by the blades. A lot of wind farms now hire biologists to walk around and study the bats that are killed incidentally. 
The bat research Bronson is a part of, involves the use of transmitters, mist netting, acoustic recording and picking bats off of cave walls to assess their age, sex, and health. One of the benefits to bat research is being able to handle the study species directly. Vegetation sampling was also done because as it turns out, many bat species roost in trees. The objective of the study was to determine roosting conditions and the researchers found that telephone poles and houses were being used as roosts. This is why, Bronson believes artificial roosts that can be easily decontaminated would be the best control method for WNS.
If you want to learn more on the subject, look up,, and If you're interested in doing some undergraduate work in Dr. Farrell's lab, it'd be best to contact about potential positions next semester.

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