2021 Summer Bat Netting Volunteer Opportunity
Dates and locations are subject to change due to weather and/or COVID-19 related issues.
In 2021, SCDNR will be conducting targeted mist netting at properties in mainly Charleston, Richland, and Fairfield 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 2019 season, 138 individuals of nine different bat species were captured. Other nocturnal creatures are often encountered during netting including Southern Flying Squirrels, Luna Moths and Polyphemus Silkmoths.
Current netting schedule:
- April 19 – April 30: Santee Coastal Reserve Wildlife Management Area, Charleston County
- May 3 – May 21: Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area, Charleston County
- May 24 – June 25: Wateree Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area, Richland County
- July 12 – Aug 6: Lake Wateree State Park, Fairfield County
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, we may arrive around 6:30/7:00 to set up, and net bats 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.
Other Things to Know:
- To follow WNS decontamination protocols and prevent the spread of fungal spores, we ask that volunteers:
- o Arrive in an outer layer of clothing you won't mind decontaminating in water held at 131 degree F for 20 min when you get home. We usually wear an outer layer of scrubs obtained at a secondhand store that can be decontaminated easily, and an under layer that can be anything lightweight (shorts/pants, t-shirt). After netting, we take off the outer layer of scrubs and put in a bag for decon. The under layer can be anything you're comfortable driving home in.
- o Wear either rubber boots that can be decontaminated with Clorox spray, or old shoes that can be placed in hot water with the clothes for decontamination. Don't forget to bring an extra pair of shoes of any kind to drive back in (Details on protocol to prevent this devastating bat disease). We will also go through what you need to know about decon in future emails and in person.
- No housing is currently available. Please be very careful driving home!
- No experience is necessary. Duties are to simply help where you can, including helping set up nets, prepare data collection table, check nets, and record data. In return, we will give you an up-close look at these amazing creatures and try to answer any questions you may have.
- Volunteer forms need to be signed and submitted before the volunteer can assist.
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 and either scan or take good pictures of your signed form and email to Jennifer Kindel at firstname.lastname@example.org, stating which site(s) and dates you would like to volunteer for.