2019 Summer Bat Netting Volunteer Opportunity

In 2019, SCDNR will be conducting targeted mist netting at properties in Charleston, Georgetown, Horry, and Greenville Counties. The goal is to capture Northern long-eared bats, but we will be recording data on any bat species we capture. We would like to have local volunteer help to record data, assist in decontamination to avoid the spread of White-nose Syndrome in bats, and help raising and lowering the nets. No volunteer handling of bats is permitted unless the volunteer has up-to-date rabies shots, but it will be a great opportunity to see these wonderful creatures and be part of an important project. During the 2018 season, 131 individuals of eight different bat species were captured, and other nocturnal creatures encountered included Southern Flying Squirrels, Luna Moths and Polyphemus Silkmoths.

Current netting schedule:

**In the event we capture a Northern long-eared bat at a site, the schedule may be moved up. Rain delays may also alter this schedule. All interested parties will be informed ASAP if/when the schedule changes.**

Times: We will be netting bats on non-holiday, Mon-Thurs nights within the time frames above. We will net bats from sunset until 5 hours after. This involves being on site in the evening for set-up and netting an hour or two before sunset until around 2:00 AM, and then clean-up (decontamination of nets, ropes, clothing and other materials). For example, on May 21st we will arrive between 6:30/7:30 to set up, and net between 8:15 pm and 1:15 am (during the latest nights, netting will occur between 8:47 pm and 1:47 am). Take down and clean up afterward should take around 1 hr, depending on the site and number of people on hand.

Netting details: Our standard set up is 2 sets of 2-3 nets stacked on top of each other with a pulley system used to bring nets down for bat extraction. Nets will be checked every 8-10 minutes. If/when a bat is captured, myself or another qualified person will remove the bat and place it in a paper bag to be transported back to the table for data processing. No volunteer handling of bats is permitted unless the volunteer has up-to-date rabies shots. Receiving these shots just for this project is not recommended as they are pricey, and the series of three require a lengthy completion timeline.

Other Things to Know:

Any days you can assist will be greatly appreciated. A commitment of at least a few days (we suggest NON-consecutive to prevent burn out) would make it worth time spent training folks.

If interested, please fill out this volunteer form and take good pictures of your signed form and email to Jennifer Kindel at kindelj@dnr.sc.gov, stating which site(s) and dates you would like to volunteer for.

Thank you!

Eastern Red Bat. Photo by Lori Duncan.