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Florida Master Naturalist Bat Detecting Basics

The UF/IFAS Extension St Lucie County Florida Master Naturalist courses are an examination of plants, animals and human interactions in upland systems.  Students in the Uplands course and the Wildlife Monitoring Course study bats.  In the past, they surveyed bats in local bridges, produced video clips featuring bat echolocation and sampled guano for N-P-K nutrient analysis.

Pettersson Bat Detector

Pettersson bat detector photo by Susan Collins, Florida Master Naturalist

Bat detecting involves the use of devices to transmute bat echolocation to sounds audible to people.  These sounds resemble clicks and chirps.  Occasionally bats make noises resembling “raspberries.”  These raspberries are likely being used by bats to find prey to eat while in flight at night.  At the UF/IFAS Extension St Lucie County, we use Pettersson bat detectors for our field work.

 

 

 

 


Florida Master Naturalist Susan Collins recorded video of her experience bat detecting at the UF/IFAS Extension St Lucie County on 1/23/18 using a Pattersson bat detector.

References

A fact sheet describing echolocation call characteristics of eastern US bats is online http://www.sonobat.com/download/EasternUS_Acoustic_Table_Mar2011.pdf

UF/IFAS EDIS fact sheets are available with additional information about bats. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_bats
Contributing co-author: Susan Collins, Florida Master Naturalist