If you have bats in your barn or other outbuildings around your home, New Hampshire wildlife biologists would love to hear from you! Citizen science volunteers are needed more than ever this summer to conduct bat counts around their property. On Thursday, June 4, from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Sandi Houghton from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program and Haley Andreozzi from the University of New Hampshire’s Cooperative Extension Program will lead an online introduction to the different bat species found in the Granite State, the threats leading to their population declines, and how you can easily help to monitor bat populations from the comfort of your back yard.
The virtual hour-long training will include an overview of bats in New Hampshire, including species identification, and detailed information on how to participate in the New Hampshire Bat Counts Project, which includes citizen-science volunteers of all ages in helping to monitor summer bat colonies. These surveys are an exciting and educational way for families and neighbors to help biologists fill in data gaps about bats in New Hampshire. These counts occur on the outside of buildings and should be completed on your own property.
Structures such as barns and church steeples often serve as summer homes for female bats and their young. In the face of white-nose syndrome, which has caused significant declines in bat populations throughout the Northeast, monitoring these “maternity colonies” is more important than ever.